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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Manhattan man robs 97-year-old Sunnyside woman in her home, sentenced to 11 years prison

prison

Dec. 18, By Christian Murray

A 59-year Manhattan man pleaded guilty today in connection with two home invasions—including one that involved a 97-year-old Sunnyside woman.

Salvador Morales, from 158th Street,  would follow older women home, gain access to their apartment and then rob them.

“One’s home is their castle and should be a place of refuge and safety, not a crime scene,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A Brown. “In robbing his victims inside their homes, the defendant stole more than just money and personal property, he stole his victims’ security.”

Morales will be sentenced to 11-years prison, Brown said.

The 97-year old Sunnyside woman was targeted by Morales on April 19, 2014, when he followed her into her apartment building.

Morales, who was wearing a surgical mask, rode up the elevator with the woman and then a short time later knocked on her door claiming he had been sent by the landlord to check for leaks.

Morales then ran the water in her kitchen.

He then asked the victim for change for $100 and the 97-year-old produced an envelope containing cash.

Morales then splashed water on the woman’s hands and convinced her to remove her rings in order not to damage them.

He then fled the apartment with the woman’s rings and the envelope containing more than $700 in cash.

In Flushing, Morales followed two senior citizens home after they left a nearby bank on April 5. As the two women were entering their apartment, he pushed both of them to the floor. He then fled with one woman’s pocketbook contained more than $1000.

The other woman sustained a fractured leg as a result of the push and was taken to hospital.

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Residents produces video: ‘Christmas in Sunnyside’

Christmas in Sunnyside, Queens, NYC from George on Vimeo.

A Sunnyside resident has put together a video titled “Christmas in Sunnyside”.

George Burles, who provides frequent videos to this site, shot it in the past week.

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12 weekends of No. 7 train service cuts through May: Nine to impact Sunnyside

weekendoutages

Dec. 17, By Christian Murray

Get ready for the latest round of No. 7 train weekend service cuts.

The MTA released its schedule for the first five months of 2015 and the No. 7 train will be out of service between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza for nine weekends. Five of those weekend will see cuts between Queensboro Plaza and 74th Street.

In addition, there will be weekend service cuts between Willets Point and Flushing-Main Street on three other weekends.

The first weekend of the Times Square/Queensboro Plaza cuts is scheduled to take place January 17-19, which will be the first of four weekends in a row that it will be down.

The MTA says that the cuts are in order for it to install a new Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) signal system; replace elevated tracks; and for the reconstruction and fortification of the Steinway Tubes (which connects Queens to Manhattan).

The MTA, which is a state-run agency, claims that majority of this work has been scheduled over weekends when ridership is lower than normal.

Van Bramer said that it was unacceptable that the MTA would close service for several weekends in a row in January and February—during the coldest month of the year.

He said that residents might be a little more forgiving about the closures if they had seen improved service as promised. However, “the truth is that over the past few months No. 7 train regular service has been poor and there have been lots of delays.”

He said that on December 11 the delays were so bad that the overcrowded subway platforms put commuters at risk.

 

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Sunnyside farmers market to be open all year round

Sunnyside-market

Dec. 16, By Christian Murray

The Sunnyside Greenmarket, which had been operating from May through December, has been approved to open all year round.

The coordinator of the program received word about 10 days ago–after putting in a request earlier this year to open every Saturday for the entire year.

Greenmarket representatives started a petition drive in August calling for a year-round market. More than 1,000 residents signed it. The community board then sent a letter of support.

The market operates every Saturday from 8 am through 3pm and is located on Skillman Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets.

“I think the neighborhood is ready for it,” said Jessenia Cagle, the coordinator of the market, in September. “There are a lot of people in the area who like fresh, local food—and they don’t want to have to go too far to get it especially in winter.”

The market, which opened in June 2007, has proved to be a success. Presently there are 16 farmers/vendors out each weekend selling vegetables, meat, fish and bread.

Most of the vendors will continue to operate during the ice-cold winter months—with only the wine and fish vendors unlikely to participate.

The move to open a year-round is not unprecedented in Queens. Cagle said the market in Jackson Heights, which was once seasonal, now operates all year round.

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Center Cinemas likely to close Jan. 4, as owner rejects six-month lease extension

Sunnyside-Center-Cinemas-005-800x6002

Dec. 15, By Christian Murray

The owner of Sunnyside Center Cinemas has rejected the six-month lease extension that he was offered by the building owner last week —saying the extension is just too short.

Rudy Prashad, the owner of the Center Cinemas, said it was not worth hiring new staff or unpacking his equipment for six extra months. His last day remains January 4.

“My bags are packed and are pretty much sitting at the front door,” he said.

Prashad said that he mulled over the offer over the weekend but decided it didn’t make sense. “I’ve been making preparations, dealing with staff and it just doesn’t work for me to go back for that short of time.”

Prashad said that he had been trying to reach the owner for the past year to work out where he stood with his lease. He said that if he had been offered the extension three months ago then it would have worked out.

However, at this point, he would be only be willing to stay if he was offered at least 12 months.

Prashad said that movie theaters like his tend to make their money in summer and scrape by in winter. A six month lease would end just before the summer peak seasib kicks in.

Several residents are hoping that the property owner John Ciafone will offer Prashad a longer lease.

Many want to know if Ciafone is able to build the apartments above the theater without completely demolishing it.

A rally is scheduled to take place between 12:30 and 1:30 pm in front of the theater this Sunday and is being organized by local residents Ty Sullivan and Jon Storck.

“We hope it might help open up a discussion between the landlord and the theater owner,” Sullivan said, who believes the rally will be worthwhile.

Sullivan said the loss of the theater would hurt low-income families the most– since many would be unable to afford going to the big multiplex cinemas in Astoria or elsewhere.

The rally, Sullivan said, also aims to show that Sunnyside is a community and that people care.

“This is a neighborhood that is made up of independently-owned and family-owned businesses,” he said. “It’s family-friendly and affordable and we don’t want to lose that. We want to tell buildings owners that is who we are and that’s how we would like to remain.”

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said he supports those involved in the rally—such as Sullivan and Storck.

“I want them to know I am behind them and I will be amplifying their voices as their council member,” he said

Van Bramer encourages John Ciafone to come back to the negotiating table to see what can be done.

“I will be reaching out to John Ciafone and his family again,” he said.

save

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Two residents turning Sunnyside into a hub for comedy, with big show planned for Tuesday
Lindsay Goldwert

Lindsay Goldwert

Dec. 14, By Michael Florio

Two Sunnyside comedians are turning the neighborhood into a go-to place for comedy.

Comedians Lindsay Goldwert and Colin Samuel, who have formed Sunnyside Comedy, have already produced two local shows and are about to put on their biggest event yet.

The two will be hosting “The X-mas Comedy Show” at Murphy’s, located at 48-20 Skillman Avenue, this Tuesday (Dec. 16) and are bringing nine comedians to the venue. Tickets will be  $10 and will be sold at the door. The show starts at 8:30 pm.

“We have put a lot of work into the Christmas show and are excited about the comedians who we have performing,” Goldwert said. (see line up below)

The two teamed up and began hosting comedy shows together this fall, after meeting at an open mic night in Manhattan over the summer.

“We both live in Sunnyside and Colin told me he was trying to put together comedy shows in the neighborhood,” Goldwert said. “It is a lot of work for one person and when he asked me to join, I did.”

Samuel hosted one show over the summer prior to teaming up with Goldwert. However, their first show as a duo, took place in October at The Dog and Duck on Skillman Ave.

The two have hosted two shows since– another at The Dog and Duck and one at Marlene Tavern.

Goldwert said that each venue provides attendees with a different experience. The Dog and Duck is a more casual venue, where people can enjoy a drink and the show, while Marlene Tavern has the classic comedy club feel to it.

Goldwert has been doing standup for a year, while Samuel has been in the business for some time.

They decided to host shows in Sunnyside to help promote local businesses, while also fill a void in the community.

“We love living here and wanted to bring comedy to the community,” she said. “There is a growth of comedy in LIC and Astoria and we wanted to add to that by bringing comedy shows to Sunnyside.”

“We like the idea of bringing something new to the neighborhood,” she added.

The pair aims to promote local businesses by having them sponsor shows. Each show will feature giveaways, with prizes provided by local bars and businesses.

Goldwert said Sunnyside Comedy plans to host three shows a month, with each show being free unless otherwise noted. Two shows a month will be at The Dog and Duck with one at Marlene Tavern.

For more information on Sunnyside Comedy, go to Twitter at @ComedySunnyside or Facebook: https://facebook.com/puttinonthebliss

Photo source: ‘It’s in Queens’

The event was originally planned to take place at Marlene’s Tavern but has been changed to Murphy’s at 48-20 Skillman Avenue.

NOTE: the event is taking place at Murphy's Lobster Grill at 48-20 Skillman Avenue

NOTE: the event is taking place at Murphy’s Lobster Grill at 48-20 Skillman Avenue

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Sunnysiders plan rally and start petition drive to save Center Cinemas– as landlord offers six-month extension

Sunnyside-Center-Cinemas-005-800x6002

Dec. 11, By Christian Murray

A petition has formed and a rally is being planned as local residents try to save Sunnyside Center Cinemas from the wrecking ball.

An online petition started Wednesday that has already garnered more than 240 signatures. Meanwhile, Ty Sullivan and Jon Stork, two local activists, are already planning to hold a rally outside the theater that is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 21 (details to come).

The petition—called “Save the Sunnyside Theater”– is addressed to the property owner/developer John Ciafone. It reads, in part, “Save the movie theater from demolition and have a new lease extended.”

Meanwhile, Sullivan is reaching out to the media and various community groups as he plans the rally. He is designing posters, fliers and launching a social-media campaign to generate community interest.

This activism comes at a time when Ciafone has just offered the owner of the theater Rudy Prashad a six month extension to his lease. After the six months, he would operate on a month-to month basis.

Prashad, however, seeks a longer lease claiming that he has organized movers and contractors to remove all the seats from the theater as required. Furthermore he has already told his staff about the upcoming closure.

“I don’t want to be in the same position in six months time where I am now,” Prashad said. “Then I’m operating on a month-to-month basis when I can be kicked out any time.”

“I need a 5 year lease–although I would take something in between,” Prashad said. However, he has not dismissed Ciafone’s offer at this point.

Prashad said that he has been surprised by the community’s desire to keep the theater going. “It shows people have a passion for the community and that they are looking out for their children and their neighbor’s children.”

Ciafone said that he decided to offer Prashad an extension since he still has a lot of work to do before he can start construction. Asked if he could do better than offer Prashad a 6 month extension—he said “that’s the best I can do.”

Ciafone plans on building a 5-7 story building with about 60-70 apartments—with about 20 percent of those units being “affordable”. The building will also have ground floor retail and a community center on the second floor.

The building requires new foundations since it was not constructed with 5-7 stories in mind. Therefore, Ciafone said, the theater has to be demolished. Furthermore, there will be a need for underground parking.

“When I finished we could invite him [Prashad] back,” he said.

Ciafone was nonchalant about the “Save the theater” petition. “I could get a petition going with just as many signatures from people wanting affordable housing,” he said.

“The likely closure of the theater is a reflection of changing times,” said Community Board 2 Chair Pat O’Brien. “You want to see small businesses prevail and they are the backbone of the economy but if they don’t have lease then there is not much you can do.”

O’Brien said it is a shame what’s happening since the cinema is one of the last vestiges of old-fashion entertainment in the area. He said there used to be several theaters in the neighborhood at one time and also the Sunnyside Gardens Arena.

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Fire rips through four Woodside stores
(google maps)

(google maps)

Dec. 11, By Michael Florio

A massive two-alarm fire erupted inside a Woodside store yesterday morning, requiring more than 100 firefighters to put out the flames, according to an FDNY spokeswoman.

The fire erupted at Don’s Professional Services, located at 38-05 69th Street, near Roosevelt Ave, just before 11 am on Wednesday morning. It then spread to three neighboring stores through a shared attic, according to the FDNY.

The fire was brought under control just before 11:45 am.

There were no reported injuries and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

 

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Lonely Planet names Queens as the best place to visit in US next year
Long Island City waterfront

Long Island City waterfront

Dec. 10, Staff report

The borough of Queens was selected as the best tourism destination in the United States for 2015 by Lonely Planet, a leading news outlet that covers the travel industry.

Queens drew praise for its eating and drinking scene (including the four microbreweries that opened over the last 18 months), amazing diversity, high-quality hotels, exciting events, and unique, enchanting neighborhoods, such as art-filled Long Island City and surfboard-friendly Rockaway.

“Nowhere is the image of New York as the global melting pot truer than Queens. Browse New York’s biggest Chinatown in Flushing, shop for brilliantly colored saris in Jackson Heights, and inhale the heady aromas of coffee and hookahs in Astoria,” reads Lonely Planet’s editorial in its Best in the US list for 2015.

“The incomparable array of world cuisines makes Queens a destination for food lovers from all parts of New York City. For your art fix, ogle the new upgrades to the Queens Museum and the Museum of the Moving Image, look for the new Emerging Artists Festival (conceptionevents.com) in Long Island City, and stroll Astoria’s new 24-block arts district (kaufmanartsdistrict.org). If you prefer sand and surf to paint and canvas, head to Rockaway.”

Warm-Up_photo1“Don’t miss the prime eating and drinking scene that has popped up around the boardwalk — this is no cruddy carnival food: think succulent fish tacos, wood-fired pizzas, and wine bars.”

Western South Dakota came in second on Lonely Planet’s list. The other members of the top 10 were, in order, New Orleans (LA), the Colorado River, North Conway (NH), Indianapolis (IN), Greenville (SC), Oakland (CA), Duluth (MN), and the Mount Shasta Region (CA).

“I have always argued that we have the best hotels, restaurants, cultural organizations, parks, sporting events, and residents in the world and that our prices are very competitive for tourists,” said Seth Bornstein, executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation, after the announcement.

“It’s simply wonderful that Lonely Planet agrees, and our hospitality industry is waiting with open arms for all visitors. Come, you’ll like it.”

The annual top 10 destinations list is determined by Lonely Planet’s authors and editorial team to help travelers add to their wish lists for the coming year. Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has the biggest market share for guidebook sales in the world, having published more than 130 million guidebooks in its history. The media company also operates an award-winning website and a suite of mobile and digital travel products.

For the write up on Queens, please click here.


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Sunnysiders plan rally and start petition drive to save Center Cinemas– as landlord offers six-month extension
Sunnyside-Center-Cinemas-005-800x6002 Dec. 11, By Christian Murray A petition has formed and a rally is being planned as local residents try to save Sunnyside Center Cinemas from the wrecking ball. An online petition started Wednesday that has already garnered more than 240 signatures. Meanwhile, Ty Sullivan and Jon Stork, two local activists, are already planning to hold a rally outside the theater that is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 21 (details to come). The petition—called “Save the Sunnyside Theater”-- is addressed to the property owner/developer John Ciafone. It reads, in part, “Save the movie theater from demolition and have a new lease extended.” Meanwhile, Sullivan is reaching out to the media and various community groups as he plans the rally. He is designing posters, fliers and launching a social-media campaign to generate community interest. This activism comes at a time when Ciafone has just offered the owner of the theater Rudy Prashad a six month extension to his lease. After the six months, he would operate on a month-to month basis. Prashad, however, seeks a longer lease claiming that he has organized movers and contractors to remove all the seats from the theater as required. Furthermore he has already told his staff about the upcoming closure. “I don’t want to be in the same position in six months time where I am now,” Prashad said. “Then I’m operating on a month-to-month basis when I can be kicked out any time.” “I need a 5 year lease--although I would take something in between,” Prashad said. However, he has not dismissed Ciafone's offer at this point. Prashad said that he has been surprised by the community’s desire to keep the theater going. “It shows people have a passion for the community and that they are looking out for their children and their neighbor’s children.” Ciafone said that he decided to offer Prashad an extension since he still has a lot of work to do before he can start construction. Asked if he could do better than offer Prashad a 6 month extension—he said “that’s the best I can do.” Ciafone plans on building a 5-7 story building with about 60-70 apartments—with about 20 percent of those units being “affordable”. The building will also have ground floor retail and a community center on the second floor. The building requires new foundations since it was not constructed with 5-7 stories in mind. Therefore, Ciafone said, the theater has to be demolished. Furthermore, there will be a need for underground parking. “When I finished we could invite him [Prashad] back,” he said. Ciafone was nonchalant about the “Save the theater” petition. “I could get a petition going with just as many signatures from people wanting affordable housing,” he said. "The likely closure of the theater is a reflection of changing times," said Community Board 2 Chair Pat O’Brien. “You want to see small businesses prevail and they are the backbone of the economy but if they don’t have lease then there is not much you can do.” O’Brien said it is a shame what’s happening since the cinema is one of the last vestiges of old-fashion entertainment in the area. He said there used to be several theaters in the neighborhood at one time and also the Sunnyside Gardens Arena.
Fire rips through four Woodside stores
(google maps)

(google maps)

Dec. 11, By Michael Florio A massive two-alarm fire erupted inside a Woodside store yesterday morning, requiring more than 100 firefighters to put out the flames, according to an FDNY spokeswoman. The fire erupted at Don’s Professional Services, located at 38-05 69th Street, near Roosevelt Ave, just before 11 am on Wednesday morning. It then spread to three neighboring stores through a shared attic, according to the FDNY. The fire was brought under control just before 11:45 am. There were no reported injuries and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.  
Lonely Planet names Queens as the best place to visit in US next year
Long Island City waterfront

Long Island City waterfront

Dec. 10, Staff report The borough of Queens was selected as the best tourism destination in the United States for 2015 by Lonely Planet, a leading news outlet that covers the travel industry. Queens drew praise for its eating and drinking scene (including the four microbreweries that opened over the last 18 months), amazing diversity, high-quality hotels, exciting events, and unique, enchanting neighborhoods, such as art-filled Long Island City and surfboard-friendly Rockaway. “Nowhere is the image of New York as the global melting pot truer than Queens. Browse New York’s biggest Chinatown in Flushing, shop for brilliantly colored saris in Jackson Heights, and inhale the heady aromas of coffee and hookahs in Astoria,” reads Lonely Planet’s editorial in its Best in the US list for 2015. “The incomparable array of world cuisines makes Queens a destination for food lovers from all parts of New York City. For your art fix, ogle the new upgrades to the Queens Museum and the Museum of the Moving Image, look for the new Emerging Artists Festival (conceptionevents.com) in Long Island City, and stroll Astoria’s new 24-block arts district (kaufmanartsdistrict.org). If you prefer sand and surf to paint and canvas, head to Rockaway.” Warm-Up_photo1“Don’t miss the prime eating and drinking scene that has popped up around the boardwalk — this is no cruddy carnival food: think succulent fish tacos, wood-fired pizzas, and wine bars.” Western South Dakota came in second on Lonely Planet’s list. The other members of the top 10 were, in order, New Orleans (LA), the Colorado River, North Conway (NH), Indianapolis (IN), Greenville (SC), Oakland (CA), Duluth (MN), and the Mount Shasta Region (CA). “I have always argued that we have the best hotels, restaurants, cultural organizations, parks, sporting events, and residents in the world and that our prices are very competitive for tourists,” said Seth Bornstein, executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation, after the announcement. “It’s simply wonderful that Lonely Planet agrees, and our hospitality industry is waiting with open arms for all visitors. Come, you’ll like it.” The annual top 10 destinations list is determined by Lonely Planet’s authors and editorial team to help travelers add to their wish lists for the coming year. Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has the biggest market share for guidebook sales in the world, having published more than 130 million guidebooks in its history. The media company also operates an award-winning website and a suite of mobile and digital travel products. For the write up on Queens, please click here.
Local opposition mounts against building on Sunnyside Yards, petition forms
PRR-Sunnyside-Yard_viewW-1955_ArtHuneke Dec. 9, By Christian Murray Call it a preemptive strike. A group of residents have put forward a petition voicing their opposition to the development of the Sunnyside Yards. A 12-person committee—which includes the President of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce—started the petition last week. The petition, which is both online and on paper, expresses their concern that plans are in motion to deck the yards. The petition, which is addressed to elected officials, has already generated about 100 signatures. Their petition comes in the wake of former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff’s New York Times op-ed calling for the construction of a 3.1 million square foot convention city to be built over the yards, accompanied by nearly 14,000 resident units—of which 7,000 of them would be ‘affordable.” Furthermore, in October, the chairman of Amtrak, Anthony Coscia, said that the company was considering developing sections of the Yards. The company said that it might turn to investors as early as spring and that it had been in talks with the mayor’s office over its use. But the petitioners say not so fast. “Sunnyside and Long Island City's infrastructure cannot stand what we have now,” the petition reads. “The subways are overcrowded and our school district is one of the most overcrowded in New York City. There are already 5,000-10,000 units coming to LIC/Sunnyside as it is – and residents don 't know how the area will be able to absorb these incoming residents. Therefore, the idea of building over the yards - bringing more residents and commercial tenants – will be an extreme burden on all of us.” Furthermore, the petition reads: Our “biggest concern of all is that we residents seem be shut out of the process and an inner circle is making all these decisions.” Patricia Dorfman, one of the committee members and the author of the petition, said: "We are residents and taxpayers. This radical change in land use where we live should not happen behind closed doors and affordable housing should not be used as a Trojan Horse." Link: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/124/232/303/please-do-not-build-over-the-sunnyside-yards/?cid=FB_TAF
Sunnyside’s movie theater to close next month
Sunnyside-Center-Cinemas-005-800x600 Dec. 7, By Christian Murray Sunnyside Center Cinemas will be closing its doors on January 4 after screening movies in the neighborhood for decades, the theater's owner said Sunday. Theater owner, Rudy Prashad, said he was informed last week that John Ciafone, whose wife owns Broadway Stages, was not renewing his lease. His lease ends December 31 but he has been given to Jan. 10 to clear out of the building. Prashad said that he had been going back and forth with the property manager for months as he wondered what was happening to his lease. “They strung me along,” Prashad said, “But I guess it’s their building and they are free to do what they want.” “It is a very sad day,” Prashad said. “I was hoping that the cinema would stay and one day be landmarked.” Prashad said that he also felt sorry for some of the families in the neighborhood who will have to pay double to go to the movies elsewhere. “We haven’t changed our prices for years-- $5.00 for children and seniors, while $7.50 for adults,” he said. There is also the ‘kid combo,’ he said, which consists of a popcorn, soda, candy and a movie for $10. Before 5 pm each day, adults only pay $5. Prashad said that he had no ill will toward Ciafone and Broadway Stages. “I was disappointed with Dime Bank [the previous owner],” he said. “I was negotiating a 20-year lease with them and then they suddenly sold it.” Dime sold the property to Ciafone for $6.65 million in December 2012. Prashad had owned the theater for nine years and believes there has been a theater at that location since the 1940s. He said that he had been paying between $13,000 and $14,000 in rent per month and was always on time. Prashad said the theater is one of the last independent theaters left in Queens. There is an independent theater in Kew Gardens, which happens to be owned by Prashad.  He thinks that theater might be the only independent theater left in Queens playing American movies. There are one or two others, he said, but they cater to ethnic groups. pj1Prashad said that he would like to thank the residents of Sunnyside for their patronage over the years and plans on showing a free movie before he leaves. With Center Cinemas gone, Ciafone is now trying to lease the air rights to a developer to build residential apartments above the ground-floor retail space. The owner plans to keep the retail space while leasing 52,000 square feet of air rights to a developer. The developer would have to pay a ground lease of $750,000 per year for those rights. Ciafone plans to keep PJ Horgan’s as an on-going tenant, said Evan Daniel, a broker for Modern Spaces, which has the real estate listing. Daniel said that PJ Horgan’s is the only business with an existing lease and is well regarded by the community. When Ciafone purchased the building, PJ Horgan’s, Dime Bank, dentist Dr. Arthur Kubikian, and Center Cinemas were all tenants. PJ Horgan’s, which rents 1,300 square feet of space, has a lease through June 2018. “They are a good tenant that pay market rent,” Daniel said. The ground-floor retail space is likely to be completely refurbished, Daniel said. However, nothing will change that will impact PJ Horgan’s business. Correction: The property is owned by John Ciafone whose wife owns Broadway Stages-- not Broadway Stages the entity. Please Note: Center Cinemas and Modern Spaces advertise with this site  
New CB2 chairman elected after vigorous debate, as Conley steps aside
Joe Conley and Pat O'Brien (seated)

Joe Conley and Pat O'Brien (seated)

Dec. 5, By Christian Murray The Chairman of Community Board 2 Joe Conley received a standing ovation at last night’s community board meeting after officially announcing that he was stepping down. Conley said that after serving two decades as chairman that it was time to move on. “It’s been a great honor to be the voice of the board,” he said. “I have had a good run…and made life-long friends with the people in this room,” he added, as he began to choke up. Conley had notified board members two days prior to the meeting that he was resigning. The timing of the announcement came as a great surprise to many and was the cause of much debate, since last night was the date for the board’s annual elections. Several members said that they were caught off guard by Conley’s sudden announcement and wanted to delay the elections a month in order for all the board members to evaluate whether they wanted to run. Lisa Deller, the secretary of the board, however, presented a slate of candidates to take the executive board positions. All but one was on the executive board last year. The slate was Patrick O’Brien, chair; Stephen Cooper, first vice chairman; Denise Keehan-Smith, secretary; Lisa Deller, second vice chair; and Diane Ballek, treasurer. Conley said that board members were notified in October that they could put their names on the ballet to run--but no one had expressed interest. Furthermore, he said, people were free to nominate themselves for those spots last night. “We have looked for nominations and this is a very open process,” Conley said. However, some members said that the departure of Conley completely changed the course of the election. Others were perplexed why Conley only gave the board two days notice prior to the election. Sheila Lewandowski said that board members should be given time to decide whether they want to put them themselves on the slate. She, like many, advocated for postponing the vote. “We have had 2 days and many [board members] are not here to consider this. I think it would be responsible to be thoughtful and wait…this is big.” O’Brien said he was willing to put off the election a month if it made the board more comfortable. “I don’t want to walk into a situation …where there is a division among people,” he said. There were, however, several strong advocates who wanted the vote to take place last night. “If you want to run put you name forward now,” said one board member. The board put it to a vote to determine whether the election should be held last night. The majority won by an unofficial count of 19 for and 15 against. The election was then held and a slim majority voted in the slate. O'Brien was announced the new chair. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said this morning that he looks forward to working with O’Brien. “He is a good person with strong experience. I worked with him when I was on the board.” However, he said, he didn’t see the harm in waiting another month for people to think about the vote. “I m not sure it would have changed the result but the process is important,” he said. “How you come to decision-- especially if people are divided –is as important as the decision itself.” “Normally you would have a unanimous vote for these positions,” Van Bramer said. However, I think the “people who voted no were voting against the process.”  
Police arrest second man wanted for beating and robbing 81-year-old Sunnysider
Willliam Eichhorn

Willliam Eichhorn

Dec. 5, By Christian Murray The second suspect wanted for punching and robbing an 81-year-old Sunnyside resident on Oct. 26 at a Chase ATM has been arrested. Terrel Balanding, a 27-year-old from the Bronx, was arrested Dec. 3 and was charged with two counts of robbery. The arrest comes just one day after Thomas Fullwood, 29, was arrested for the same crime. Balanding and Fullwood approached William Eichhorn, 81, while he was withdrawing funds from the ATM machine at the Chase Bank branch at 46-10 Queens Boulevard. The men punched him in the face and then stole $100 in cash and his debit card while he was on the ground.
Joe Conley, Community Board 2 Chair, is stepping down
Joe Conley (third from left)

Joe Conley (third from left) at groundbreaking

Dec. 4, Christian Murray Joe Conley, the long-serving Community Board 2 chair, is stepping down. Multiple sources said that Conley, who has been chair for over 25 years, will be making the announcement tonight when Community Board 2 has its full monthly meeting. Conley’s departure from the community board will result in the biggest shake up the board has seen in nearly 30 years. For the past decade, the same leadership structure has been in place: Conley as chairman; Steve Cooper, first vice chairman; Patrick O'Brien, second vice chairman; Lisa Deller, secretary, and Diane Ballek, treasurer Tonight the board will be holding an election for all of these positions and at the very least there will be a new chairperson. At this point, the field is wide open, according to sources. Board members were only alerted to Conley’s departure yesterday. “It will be an interesting transition,” said Lisa Deller, who is the head of the land use committee. “Joe has contributed a lot. He has given his heart and soul to the board, and whether people are for or against what he has done…it should not be forgotten that he has gone above and beyond.” Joe-Conley-250x2501Conley could not be reached for comment. Conley, who has always been the recipient of great praise from his fellow board colleagues, was instrumental in turning the prostitute-ridden Long Island City into the thriving neighborhood it is today. He was also was the chair during the Sunnyside-Woodside rezoning. The chairperson has significant control of the board. He/she decides which members sit on what committees and who chairs them. The chair is also the one who runs the monthly meetings and is the public face of the board. While the community board is deemed advisory, it does have significant influence-- particularly on land use, liquor license and transportation issues. The new chair will take the helm at a time when there are many ongoing issues. There is the ongoing debate about backyard seating in Long Island City, the construction of affordable housing, continued development and the possible construction over the Sunnyside Yards.
Put on your santa suit, Sunnyside Boulevard Bars to host Santathon Bar Crawl
2012 Sanathon

2012 Santathon

Dec. 3, By Christian Murray Hundreds of Santas are going to be lining the streets of Sunnyside this Saturday as they participate in the neighborhood’s third annual Santathon/pub-crawl. Eleven bars along—or near—Queens Blvd are putting on the festive event, where attendees will go from bar-to-bar and will be able to buy $4 beers. Participants will be required to pay $10 for a wristband and wear a Santa costume (or at least a Santa hat) to get the $4 beers. The $10 wrist bands can be bought at any of the bars—from now until the time of event. The proceeds will be donated to children’s charities to buy toys for needy kids this holiday season. The bars are also accepting toys and monetary donations from now until Christmas. The pub crawl will begin at 3:00 pm and go until late.  Participants are able to begin their journey at any of the bars but must then follow the order of Santa’s route (see map). The participating bars are: Arriba Arriba, Bar 43, Maggie Mae's, Bliss Street Station, The Courtyard Ale House, McGuinness's Saloon, Molly Blooms, Sidetracks, Jack's Fire Dept., The Gaslight and PJ Horgan's. Last year’s Santathon raised more than $10,000 in monetary and new toy donations. “We really want this to be a big event, ” said Nick Murphy, the co-owner of Bar 43 & Grill. “We are all coming together to put on a great community event that will help raise money for charity.” The eleven bars are part of what’s known as Sunnyside Boulevard Bars, a group that was formed in 2012 and has held several events, such as the St. Patrick’s Day Music Festival. The organization has raised more than $25,000 for charity since its inception. The beneficiaries have included Sunnyside/Woodside Boys & Girls Club and the 51st Street Fire Station (Engine 325/Ladder 163). Details Saturday, Dec. 6 Time: 3 pm
Map

Map

Police arrest man for beating and robbing 81-year-old Sunnysider, cops closing in on second suspect
Willliam Eichhorn

Willliam Eichhorn

Dec. 3, By Christian Murray One of the two men wanted for punching and robbing an 81-year-old Sunnyside resident on Oct. 26 at a Chase ATM has been arrested. Thomas Fullwood, a 29-year-old from the Bronx, was arrested Dec. 2 and was charged with two counts of robbery. The police are still searching for the other suspect. Fullwood and his accomplice approached William Eichhorn. 81, while he was withdrawing funds from the ATM machine at the Chase Bank branch at 46-10 Queens Boulevard. One of the men punched him in the face and then they both stole $100 in cash and his debit card while he was on the ground. According to sources, Fullwood has provided information to the police identifying the second individual involved in the attack.
The police are still searching for this suspect

The police are still searching for this suspect

Demolition permits filed as section of Greenpoint Ave. to be bulldozed
closing1 Dec. 2, By Christian Murray Demolition permits have been filed with the Building Dept. to demolish three Greenpoint Avenue stores and the accompanying upstairs dwelling units. The permits, which were filed and approved Nov. 18, provide the developer with the go-ahead to knock down the buildings that were occupied by King Boulevard, SSS Video and Azteca Restaurant. The filings do not state what the developer has in mind for the site. This strip of real estate (47-16 to 47-24 Greenpoint Ave.) was sold by Greisman Property in October to AB Capstone Development, a development company, for  $4.35 million. Mike Perez, who owned King Boulevard for 31 years, closed down his store at the end of October. closing

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