Van Bramer gets results, wants his constituents to know about them

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43 Responses to Van Bramer gets results, wants his constituents to know about them

  1. Mike Novak

    Thank you Jimmy, for representing ALL the people of your district.

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  2. Sunnysider4Life

    Proud to live in a community that is so well represented by its Councilman and that its Councilman is so available and visible in his district.

    Kudos to you Councilman and to your staff who work so hard to make this community such a desirous place to live.

    And 3860 constituent cases addressed in 2012? What politician does that??

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  3. Oppressed Masses

    Thank you Councilmember Van Bramer for your great work, especially in putting the emphasis on schools, and making this report available. Apologies accepted for burdening the neighborhood with that dog park. SOAP is going to help with the pigeon problem under the 7 train drawing the birds to the dog run and making that area a multi-purpose facility.

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  4. Sycamore

    When I called JVB's office with a problem his staff member Deborah listened patiently while I blew off a huge head of steam. Then she calmly told me how to go about filing a complaint. When I hadn't gotten back to her in a week, she called me! She called me to find out how I was doing with the issue. I think that qualifies as marvelous! Thank you Councilman. You set the standard for the rest of them.

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  5. Sycamore

    Deborah Tharrington. That is the name of JVB's staff member. I think she deserves a raise, a promotion and more vacation time. She has a good heart a great brain, patience, persistence and she deserves the highest compensation possible for restoring my faith in city government. And JVB deserves credit for hiring her.

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  6. Ryan

    Good job Mr. Councilman.
    Please update us on what is going on with the result of the closure of the Foodtown on Greenpoint. Many of us utilized that market, and with its closure are now having to travel further for groceries. Not a huge deal I know, but mainly am curious as to whether or not a new market will open in its place, or are we going to lose it to residential development as I have been hearing.

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  7. micky

    Met Jimmy in the city a few years back when he voted in favour of an issue that related to me,as i was thanking him i informed him that i had not voted for him in the city council election to which he replied,"Well maybe you will next time",I told him I certainly would and I will,been watching Jimmy in the community over the last few years and must say he has been a great asset to our neighborhood,Congratulations Jimmy and keep up the good work.

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  8. KathyG

    He and his staff are always responsive and accessible.

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  9. SunnysidePostHatesMe

    I don't agree. He's young looking with white hair. He's two steps away from being a Bond villain. I can't trust that.

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  10. Sunnyside Native

    Thank you Mr. Van Bramer for renovating Lou Lodati! Now our neighborhood kids can bike down there, play softball and basketball down there, they way I used to as a kid. Plus, the other added bonus is that fabulous soon to be dog run! Kudos to the S.U.D.S. organization for being an active member of the community, having a vision and making it come to fruition! FYI for Rick Duro: I had a conversation with an official from the Parks Department Department today, and not only is it illegal for anybody to feed the pigeons in or near the dog run, but there are very fines associated with that, if the person feeding the pigeons gets caught. So too bad for the pigeons, but their stomping grounds will have to remain under the EL and their daily meals will have to be donated by the sympathetic avian lovers in the neighborhood. Keep up the good work, Jimmy!

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  11. Bill Ryan

    Is Woodside and Sunnyside a better place since Jimmy Van Bremer took office?

    The answer is : YES !!!!

    We now live in the best neighborhood in NYC.

    Great job and thank you to Jimmy and his staff.

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  12. sm

    I agree - Sunnyside is a GREAT place to live. The councilman and his staff are active and engaged in the community.

    The new school facilities are a big step forward. Some of the test scores still need improvement (no fault of the councilman) but the neighborhood is fantastic and constantly improving to make the quality of life better.

    Though I'll be moving due to some overriding educational concerns in District 24 (it is on the right path and I totally applaud that, but as a personal matter, I just feel more comfortable in another district - sorry!), I plan to keep a residence in Sunnyside for summers because it is just such a special place!

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  13. P & B

    Thank you Jimmy! You are an unbelievable asset to our community. Thank you for listening, and making our community a better place to live. You are the voice we needed to get these jobs done. I'm especially grateful for the dog run. My dogs Barnum and Provo can't wait to have a place to run! They send their thanks! Keep up the good work.

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  14. Rick Duro

    Sunnyside is a better place and JVB is one major reason for that. I'm grateful for all that he has done to help improve our great 'hood. Good work on the schools, park improvements and the attention to detail that has made more people in Sunnyside feel like part of the equation.

    He is real and accessible. I am glad to have worked with him over the last 3+ years on the improvements to Lodati Park and the future home of the SUDS Dog Run. It will be a great multi-use facility, where everyone wins, getting their piece of the pie. Now, if OM could step up and get his ballplayers to use the bathroom up the ramp instead of exposing themselves in public in front of children and leaving lakes of urine everywhere, we could keep the park and it's new trees/plantings looking beautiful.

    As for OM's fixation on pigeons, they are groups that can help you, they net them and take them to the Poconos, sadly releasing them for target practice. While I am against this barbarism, it'd be great if OM could work with this group to humanely release them to the woods of the Keystone State.

    RD

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  15. 123sunny

    Wonderful neighborhood.

    Moving to Forest Hills for P.S. 196/101 for kids' schools (breaks my heart but P.S. 196 -- 98% of kids proficient in subject matters, P.S. 199 only 59%). Admittedly standardized tests are not everything, but still, they are one factor for a parent to consider.

    But have always spoken so highly of Sunnyside that family will be living in our apartment while we're away & we hope to come back for summers.

    Keep up the good work! But keep working. Get the numbers up to at least 75-80% so that parents with kids don't feel a pressure cooker to leave for education. . .

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  16. BringBackRuben

    There's a lotta ass kissing on this site.

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  17. 86Mets

    Hail Caesar!

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  18. 86Mets

    Can this site get its nose any further up JVB's butt?

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  19. Mr. Murphy

    Not only has Jimmy Van Bramer been a great Councilman, but he is truly a nice person. He has been way more effective than Eric Gioia. Keep up the good work, Mr. Van Bramer!

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  20. Oppressed Masses

    Native, I wonder if the supposed regulation on feeding pigeons is enforced in the same way as the regulation that says Lodati Park closes at sunset, yet people with their dogs are in the park until close to midnight keeping neighbors awake with the barking and howling.
    RD, I told you before that I have no involvement with the folks who play soccer or volley ball in the park except to know there's a lot of soccer and volley play happening in the park. I do have a concern about your repeated comments about these groups which give off a whiff of the stench of racism. You wouldn't want people to get the wrong idea about your group of old white guys. If you and SUDS are so concerned about the behavior of the soccer players, then why did you design the park to move the basketball courts, primarily used by younger teens, away from the Skillman Ave/playground side of the asphalt field over to back of the field where the soccer players congregate? Perhaps you and SUDS can address your concerns directly to those you worry about as these people come into the park down the ramp and pass in front of the entrance to the dog park.

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  21. Know_where_to_run

    Was this piece written by Van Bramer's office? It sure seems like it.

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  22. Krissi

    I contacted JVB's office a while back to lodge a complaint against a building in our area that consistently had garbage all over it that no one took care of. It took a while, but they sent a letter to the Sanitation Dept and got the landlords to clean it up!

    I was super impressed!

    Unfortunately that landlord is back at it with the garbage, but still!

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  23. JulieJ.

    I like Jimmy, but no, this area is not better! In fact, I think it is becoming worse. If you want a better neighborhood, try Forest Hills or Jamaica Estates or Fresh Meadows.

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  24. Sunnyside Native

    How can dog owners assemble in Lou Lodati Park with their dogs if the park is under renovation and completely closed off? I live a block away and I never hear any barking or howling. If any SUDS members do happen to assemble, it could be down by the handball courts at night, when nobody is playing handball anyway and the sound of the LIRR would be sure to drown out the noise emanating from dogs barking. The more complaints are made about people feeding pigeons, the more inspectors they assign to the area and people will eventually get caught and will receive a fine. Alas, the pigeon population has dwindled due to the Asian men who have now been spotted at Torsney, Noonan Park and various parks in Manhattan, jumping out of a van, netting the pigeons and then taking off with them. I guess because they are pigeons, not many people care when they see this. Once the dog run is open, nobody can really complain about a dog or two barking. It is after all, a dog run...Thanks again for that dog run, JVB!

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  25. Rick Duro

    Oh, OM, you are so silly. I am probably the least racist person you could ever meet.

    Any adult that urinates/defecates in plain view of the public (especially w/ children running around), illegally sells/consumes alcohol in public, does drugs, vandalizes public property, leaves trash/broken bottles strewn about, get wasted and passes out on the ground, fights, gambles, etc etc is doing the wrong thing. It doesn't matter if they are white, black, green, purple or from the dark side of the moon. If a bunch of old Italian Bocce ball players were doing the above, I'd voice just as much concern. I think you know where you can put that race card of yours.

    As for SUDS being a 'group of old white guys', again, you show your cluelessness. SUDS has members that are White, Spanish, Black, Asian, Arabic, you name it, with age ranges that run the gamut from teens, young kids with their parents, 20somethings, all the way up to our resident Orchestra Conductor, a young and spry 80!

    Way back when the idea of the redesign of the park was brought up you voiced your concern that it was taking away space from the majority of users, the soccer players, which, of course was wrong (again). Anyone see a pattern here? Volleyball was played much more often and took up much more space than soccer. Do you know why they took up all that room?Many locals didn't want to bring their kids, or use the park themselves, because of the disgusting behavior that was going on. I, too, refused to take my niece and nephew in that park. Also, volleyball (and sometimes soccer) players would set up their nets early in the morning, to 'claim space' and then not use it until 3pm+. So, you would walk into the park to play some ball and guess what? No room. As you felt so concerned for their plight, regardless of what they were doing to destroy the park each night, you must a champion of theirs.

    The goal isn't to encourage people to keep urinating/dumping in the park, the ball players need to be held accountable for these kinds of actions. It's irrelevant where the hoops courts will be. People need to do the right thing. (just as people w/ dogs should be picking up, encouraging their pets to go closer to the curb, etc) They will no longer be able to hide behind the trees and do their deeds, as the trees will be fenced off. Maybe, now, they will walk up the ramp and do their biz in the bathroom. People walking by a fenced in dog run, surrounded by trees, is not a problem.

    SUDS has a stellar record. If we were the menace in the park, with groups of hounds a-bayin', @ midnight, as you claim, we would have been told about it and would have not been unanimously approved for the run. But, you are the propaganda king, so anything you say is taken with a mountain of salt by many. Isn't Bloomberg trying to get us all to cut back on the salt?

    RD

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  26. Rick Duro

    SUDS has used that park @ night from Fall 2001-Summer 2012. We have a '2 bark rule': Once your dog barks twice you have to go get'em and shut'em up. Simple. Thus, the lack of complaints against us. In fact, most people never knew we were even in there to begin with, as we were so quiet and in the dark.

    Yet, in the dark, we still cleaned up the disaster area that was left behind on a daily basis from the folks that used it all day.

    RD

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  27. micky

    rick, a'2 bark rule'does it work with wives?

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  28. Oppressed Masses

    There you go Native, Asian men and Hispanic soccer players; anybody else you folks at SUDS want to keep out of Lodati Park?

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  29. a local

    He really has been very good. A pro. He'll have my vote again.

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  30. Mr. Murphy

    I always refer to this Oppressed Masses person as a tool, but he is more of a clown. Totally getting off the subject of this article. Didn't you read the new rules from the Sunnyside Post?

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  31. Rick Duro

    Well put, Mr. Murphy.

    We have never wanted to keep anyone out of the park. I love the fact that people, regardless of race, gender, creed, political affiliation, or 'toolness' are getting exercise, socializing and networking w/i the confines of the park. The park is for everyone in the 'hood to use and enjoy. Just do the right thing and take care of it. Why is that a racial issue? Like I said, I'd ask the same of Italian Octogenarian Bocce ball players. I think if more people spoke up to people like public urinators, dog poo violators, garbage dumpers, irresponsible parents and their kids we'd all have a better neighborhood. When I see actions like these I say something.

    SUDS tried, over the last decade, working with the ballplayers to figure out a solution to the disaster area they would leave. Things would get better for a few days and then revert back to 'normal'. The excessive drinking of booze doesn't help.

    We have SUDS members from Myanmar, does that count, OM? Any responsible dog owner is welcome w/i SUDS. We then try and school the irresponsible.

    If you see something, SPEAK UP.

    Mickey, I'm not touching that '2 bark rule' on wives, especially on Valentines Day!

    RD

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  32. Sunnyside Native

    Sunnyside Post should really start deleting Oppressed Masses comments because they are ridiculous and they are not pertaining to the story line. I admit that I feel sorry for OM, as I am sure he spent Valentine's Day alone, with not even man's best friend by his side. I can only imagine how lonely he is, until the time when he has out of town family members come to visit him, so he can drag them onto our lovely 7 train. A few years ago, our older Irish neighbor got a picture, albeit blurry, of the Asian men right after they did a quick scoop up at Noonan Park. It was a white van and there was no back license plate. There is nothing racist in saying that these men were spotted and their ethnicity is in fact Asian. Our other neighbor John saw this happen this past summer 2012 in Manhattan. I would be willing to bet that they will be back to Noonan or Torsney Park at some point, so everybody should be aware. Maybe we can work with JVB on this as well. He cares about so many different issues within his community. Agree with Mr. Murphy, Jimmy Van Bramer has done more for our community than Eric Gioia ever did.

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  33. Oppressed Masses

    Native, you and RD have tried mightly to surpress any negative comment about the wisdom of spending a large sum of public monies on a dog park when there are so many pressing human needs in our neighborhood. You and Rick routinely resort to ad hominen attacks on me and others who raise contrary points regarding the dog park, when not making up national origin based horror stories about users of the park and fish tales about a priest miraculously healing a dog. By the way, the purported diversity of SUDS has been hardly evident in the small group of old white guys that march under the SUDS banner in the St Patrick's Parade For All. So if you can't take the dirt, stop dishing it. Since you asked, I enjoyed a wonderful Valentine's Day with the lady of my dreams which I think is more satisfying than your evening of laying with a dog by your side staring at blurry pictures of Asian men scooping up pigeons near a white van with no back license plate.

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  34. Rick Duro

    No, we shouldn't be deleting OM's 'stuff'. It's important that he gets to air it out. It's what makes our society great.

    Dog parks are just as much about people as they are about the dogs that frolic in them. People much wiser than you approved us unanimously and not a single person showed up to any of the cmmty bd meetings we attended to speak out against us. Neighborhoods all over the city have them and they are better for it. Now it's our turn. Not only did we get the dog run, but our much larger goal of fixing up the whole park for all to enjoy.

    Not everyone marches in the parade. We have had as many as 60+ people and as few as 15, depends on the weather, etc. What would you like me to do? How about I personally send you some of the 1000+ photos I have from the past 10 years of SUDS people/pooches? You will see an 80 year young Queens College Prof, an Asian American NYPD officer, the Eastern European family of Ruby (Mom, Dad, 3 kids), Jake the HS kid, the owners of Lucky and Milo from Myanmar, the African American owner of a basset hound puppy, Yuki's Asian owners (and my neighbors), the African American owner of the neopolitan mastiff, the latino owners of Hazel (who also does grooming locally), the chinese couple who own Lucky the Shiba Inu, the Colombian owner of Emma, Hoover's Asian owners, Spring Moon's Venezuelan owner, Truman's Latino owner (and our Webmaster), the list goes on and on. You display your ignorance very well.

    Making up stories about what was going on @ the park?! Again, you are out of touch and clueless as to what is going on right outside your own window. We took photos of the carnage and brought it to the community board/parks dept years ago. Where were you? Nowhere to be found.

    I'm glad that you have someone special OM, it makes me feel better that someone is willing to take care of you.

    I, too spent the evening, and early morning hours, with my lady friend...and our mutts:)

    OM, please join us, w/ bird, on 3.3 for the St Pat's parade, so that we can have an oppressed person and a bird to add to your melting pot.

    Cheers,

    Rick

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  35. Sunnyside Native

    Aww! Oppressed Masses spent Valentine's Day with the lady of his dreams! So...how is your Mom doing?? Does she know what a nut you are? I presume she is the reason for your anti-dog attitude. Probably never let you owned one, or you got bit & she wasn't around to protect you OR she owned one and favored the dog over you. Yep. That's got to be it. Mommy issues...

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  36. Oppressed Masses

    Native, sounds like you have been lapping up too much Old Grand Dad from that bowl on the floor or your rabies vaccinations are out of date. You need to go chase a stick and clear your mind.

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  37. Sunnyside Native

    My Father worked as a therapist at one of the most well known mental health hospitals (I will withhold the name) in the tri-state area and I just firmly believe (as do many others on here) that you are mentally unstable. Plain and simple. Like I said...Mommy issues. That lady of your dreams, if she is smart which I doubt already, should start packing her bags & head for the hills.

    To stick with the topic at hand & to stay in compliance with the Sunnyside Post's requests, thanks for the dog run, Jimmy and keep up the good work! Now our neighborhood kids will have a great new park to play in!

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  38. Doglover

    So how much has Jimmy "allocated" towards dogs in the district? Lodati Park, then another quarter of a million in Windmuller? Any indication that SUDS will take some serious measures towards insuring that all the dogs are licensed or that owners will make a serious effort to clean up after their "small number" of fellow dog owners who don't, curb their dogs(remember that?) keep their dogs out of the Windmuller basketball courts and kiddy playgrounds (read the signs). Would it be too much to ask a dog owner to try to move his dog a few feet from the front door before it pees, to wait on the next elevator when there's already one dog on it, and to see that some tickets are written for non-compliant dog owners? Also, why allocate our money to fix up the health code violations of the MTA who are operating a nuisance? It would be better to spend the quarter of a million on a nice lawsuit and also arrest the mentally ill pigeon feeders who follow a clockwork schedule of lawbreaking. I'll gladly point them out to the authorities. San Francisco has a low cost dog waste methane generating plant in Golden Gate Park that works quite nicely. It could be paid for out of licensing fees and not allocations. It really hasn't gotten any easier to walk around the neighborhood without stepping in dog feces or breaking your stride because two dogs on long leashes won't let you pass. What do you say, Mr. Van Bremer?

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  39. Oppressed Masses

    Native, have you spoken with Daddy about your fantasy where a priest makes the sign of the cross on a dying dog when suddenly the dog's tail wags furiously and the dog is miraculously cured? How about your desire to take your dog on a date to Claret Wine Bar and
    sit in the outdoor seating area. Do you think Daddy can cure you of your habit of taking your dog at night to the handball courts at Lodati Park and letting the dog run around and crap all over the handball courts? Thank you Councilmember Van Bramer for helping to fund the City's mental health program so that Native can get the help he needs and his Daddy gets to keep his job.

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  40. Sunnyside Native

    HAHA! I, along with many dog owners, enjoy sitting at either of the sidewalk tables at both Bar 43 and Claret...spending money in OUR neighborhood and enjoying the beautiful weather. I don't drag my family on the 7 train to head into another neighborhood and spend my money elsewhere, like you. Until our SUDS dog run is open, we take our dogs up to Sherry Park on 65th Place & Queens Blvd., where it is completely enclosed. The handball courts at Lou Lodati Park is not closed off and we deem it unsafe for our pets. Just because you are so concerned, Daddy just recently retired and is enjoying travelling and just got back from a vaca where he was golfing at Pebble Beach. Although he can still practice, he is not up to taking on any patients right now, so you will have to go elsewhere for your desperately needed psychotherapy. Although you would be a case that that he would love to examine, he is living the life and doesn't have time for your obvious Mommy issues right now. Even though the majority of us believe that you are mentally unstable, I personally think a full blown lobotomy will better suit you. I am sure the lady of your dreams (key word: dreams) would appreciate the gesture. Thank you Jimmy Van Bramer and Helen Marshall for helping us finally secure the funds for our dog run! Only a few more months to go now!

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  41. Oppressed Masses

    Actually Native I took my family to the Turkish Grill that snowy winter night two years ago before heading off to Manhattan to see a Broadway show. We were the only customers in the restaurant that evening and the staff was very happy to see us. I always eat dinner at one of Sunnyside's fine restaurants before heading off to Manhattan for a night of entertainment. By the way, I understand that it's a health code violation to bring a dog into a restaurant unless it is a service dog. But then again many dog owners are obnoxious and don't think laws like curbing your dog or picking up the dog's poop apply to them. So the next time Native you and the other girls decide to for drinks and to talk about the posters on this web site, leave Fido at home.

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  42. LC

    I too believe JVB is doing a fine job. I would like to know however if any thought was ever given to creating a park in the area with REAL grass, and REAL space for such things as having a family picnic, reading a book/iPad/Kindle etc, snoozing etc. Have lived here for just over a year it only really struck me after moving that there is no such public green space within walking distance. Does this community not deserve such an amenity? Having a new dog run is great - especially if it will reduce the amount of dog-poop and urine that us non-dog owning parents have to sidestep every morning and evening while bringing our kids to and from school. I also have noticed the evening use of the kids playground for dogs which is a complete disgrace, as yet again, the owners of these animals don't know how to pick up the poop their animal has dropped but the child that uses the playground most certainly does. Its a disgrace and I hope JVB starts a much needed campaign to shame such people. If we as parents can train our kids to relieve themselves in the 'proper' places then Sunnyside dog owners should be subject to that same standard. Respect your neighborhood and fellow neighbors.

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  43. Sunnyside Native

    Hmm...I believe I said we were at the sidewalk tables at Bar 43 or Claret. We were not sitting at a table indoors. Go google NYC outdoor cafes and see how many people sit outside at these restaurants with their dogs. Tell me if you find any occurrences online where a dog owner was issued a citation for sitting at an outdoor cafe. Dog owners & their dogs dining at outdoor sidewalk cafes is quite a common occurrence in the Spring, Summer and Fall here in the five boroughs of NYC and I have yet to hear about any owner being issued a ticket for violating the NYC health code while sitting outside. There are a TON of restaurants with outdoor cafes that allow dogs. I would just be interested for you to produce such evidence. I am intrigued. We sit at Bar 43 quite often with the pooches and we are friends with Mick and Nick, two of the owners of Bar 43. We would gladly respect their wishes if they didn’t want the dogs there.

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

Taste of woodside

Nov. 25, By Michael Florio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robin Kawada

Robin Kawada

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

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Nov. 24, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nov. 23, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details:

Event: Small Business Saturday kickoff

Date: Nov. 29

Time: 12 pm – 1pm

Czarrina Andres

Czarrinna Andres

Wespaw Pets

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

Luke Adams (middle)

Nov. 21, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New commanding officer appointed to 108 precinct
Captain John Trav

Captain John Travaglia

Nov. 20, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

fire51st Street

Nov. 20, By Michael Florio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The FDNY is still investigating what caused the fire.

fire51st Street1

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

Suspect

Nov. 19, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

For previous coverage, click here

Previous photo of suspect

Previous photo of a suspect

 

Previous photo

Previous photo of a suspect

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

Flavor

Nov. 18, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Med

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

Suspect

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

Previous photo of a suspect

 
Previous photo

Previous photo of a suspect

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

James Abram with Hercules

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

Couple adopts Daffodil

Robin the cat

Robin the cat

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

Alexio Gessa (Photo: Peter Wing)

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

Jimmy Van Bramer (Photo:Peter Wing)

Source Peter Wing

(Photo: Peter Wing)

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

Suspect

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

Source: Pat Dorfman

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

Robin Kawada

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

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