Sunnyside Shines starts streetscaping program– with focus on trees

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53 Responses to Sunnyside Shines starts streetscaping program– with focus on trees

  1. Rebecca

    Yay!

    More trash cans too please!

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  2. South

    A great idea. While there are clearly many things this neighborhood needs to focus on, it will be nice to see fewer tree pits operating as full-time dog-turd collection sites. Glad to see that local businesses are continuing to support Sunnyside Shines.

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  3. Dog Owner

    This is definitely a good idea, as is adding more trash cans. But South, don't blame all dog owners for the irresponsible actions of the lazy dog owners who don't pick up their dog's poop.

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  4. Dorothy Morehead

    Great project for the community.

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  5. JOR

    Great project that will hopefully give the newly planted trees a better chance of survival and protection against dog poop and urine.

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  6. 43 Resident

    Local property owners Pickman Realty ?? Who and where do they own property??

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  7. The Grimster

    That's right it's all the dogs fault geez what a bunch hateful CREEPS live in Sunnyside. Like I have said beofre there is more garbage and waste from humans than from Dogs.

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  8. GUTTERSNIPE

    What the hell is the matter with most Sunnyside dog owners! The Dog Sh*t and Dog urine stained streets ate disguisting. Dont these morons know that they are supposed to curb their dogs. It means control your dog
    and not to allow your 4-legged friend to befoul the sidewalk (pavement), but to convince him somehow that the road is a canine toilet. Maybe if we just relieved ourselves in front of their house doorsteps and apartment doors they'll get the message.

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  9. 5_foot_gremlin

    The dogshit on Sunnyside Streets is out of control!

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  10. Margo

    Nice project. Skillman Ave. desperately needs trash cans. I don't see any and there are businesses. What is the problem? Sanitation Dept. ? I think people would use them if they are available. What is the problem?

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  11. when people learn how to park/drive

    I'll drag my dog into the street to poo/pee...

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  12. Anoymous

    I am all in favor of more neighborhood lush of plantings throughout the South side of Queen's Blvd. But, what about more planting on the North side of Queen's Blvd.? Is that going to be neglected? The area of Sunnyside/Woodside prides it's self on it's plantings which date back to the 1940's.

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  13. doglover

    Let's see if any of the dog owners step up and sponsor the tree shields and , more importantly, keep their pets out and clean up after them.

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  14. car 54

    Bollards are important on the Boulevard... so folks can tie up their boats...

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  15. Sunnysider

    Why does Sunnyside south have so few trees compared Sunnyside north?

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  16. Sunnysideisblooming

    Sunnyside Shines and the BID have done a great job. I am planning an effort to do similar work in other area of Sunnyside not covered by the BID. If you are interested go to my website and get involved.
    http://Sunnysideisblooming.com

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  17. Krissi

    Sunnysider

    The much of the northside was a planned project so, in essence, the trees were planned too. The most "tree" area of the southside is arguably Celtic Park, also a planned project.

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  18. Tequilla Mockingbird

    Great initiative.

    I would take it a step further in the beautification of Greenpoint avenue and suggest informing the store owners of what awnings and store fronts look like in other more vibrant and commercially successful neighborhoods.

    Working class and unpretentious doesn't mean have to mean tacky and dated looking.

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  19. The Grimster

    doglover you are an ASSWIPE!

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  20. J-Low

    @ Guttersnipe: the next time your Mama is taking a crap on the toilet bowl, pull her off the bowl mid-crap and tell me what her reaction is! When my dog catches a scent that encourages him to poop, I am not dragging him to a lew location closer to the curb to make some of you idiots happy. Screw that. I pick up his crap and dispense it at the nearest garbage can.

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  21. rikki

    Nobody should own a Dog in an apartment. The more apartment houses that ban dogs the better I like it.

    If you want to own a dog then buy or rent a house with its own backyard....keep the poop in your yard.

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  22. Local Realtor

    Sorry to disappoint you Rikki, but more & more apartment buildings are allowing dogs and most owners allow their sub-tenants to have a dog. It is filling the need of supply & demand and more & more people in Sunnyside want to own a dog. Like in the other boroughs.

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  23. South Side Johnny

    Maybe it's true that most of the dog owners do clean up (what they can) after their dogs, but it's also true that most of the really offensive stuff on our sidewalks comes from dogs. I really do not want to deal with dog waste and choose not to own a dog, but because of a minority segment of our population who refuse to cooperate, I am forced to encounter all kinds of dog mess on the sidewalk on a regular basis. Honestly, it's disgusting. Who are you people who do not seem to mind living like this??

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  24. J-Low

    My cousin is a sanitation worker right here in Sunnyside. He said dog feces on our sidewalks was a problem, but has gotten much better. He said the general garbage that people litter on the sidewalks is the bigger issue. He said in the past 4 months he has found 2 used condoms and 1 hypodermic needle on two different sidewalks in Sunnyside. THIS is what we should be concerned about; not dog crap. Dog crap is old news that has significantly improved. Talk about something else already. Some of you sound like a broken record.

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  25. Sunnysider

    How much to sponsor a tree guard? Really hope landlords are made to help out in this program. They take the rents from tenants but do nothing to improve the neigherhood

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  26. GUTTERSNIPE

    @ J-Low: How obvious it is that you are one of the culprits that stain our streets with your dogs’ feces and urine! It sounds like you have no control over your dog. Maybe you should own a hamster instead. I’ve owned a few dogs and it was never a problem training them to relieve themselves in the road. Your statement about “Mama” just shows what a LOW LIFE you really are!

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  27. 43rd & 43rd

    We definitely need more trash cans. Overflowing cans and scattered garbage are already an issue, and the MTA is now planning to REMOVE trash cans from stations all along the 7 train.

    http://new.mta.info/news/2014/01/27/trash-can-removal-pilot-expand

    I think this deserves an article of its own. We definitely need strategies to deal with this instead of just letting trash get all over our stations and streets.

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  28. 43rd & 43rd

    Apologies for that last comment--when I read the MTA's article earlier today, the affected stations would be along the 7 and the M. Currently the article says the J and the M.

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  29. Jodi

    Kudos to White Castle and Pickman. What about ING, Burger King, CVS, Capital One, Chase, McDonalds and Wendys?

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  30. Jodi

    People are definitely not responsible dog owners. If you want to be a pet owner in the city picking up messes is all a part of the package. Oh and we need more trash cans!

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  31. Jodi

    Sunnysideisblooming, Thank you! I'd like to help if possible. I'll sign up at your website.

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  32. J-Low

    @ Guttersnipe: what was your Mama's reaction when you pulled her off the bowl? I perform my due diligence my picking up my dogs fecal matter and I am not stopping my dog from taking a crap to appease some of you tools. So just get over it already. It's a shame that some owners do not pick up their dogs crap. Yes, we do need more trash cans. Please contact JVB's office or the Dept. of Sanitation. Let me know how that goes.

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  33. The Grimster

    Maybe parents should pick up after there Demon Spawn!!!! who throw garbage everywhere.

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  34. Sunnysider

    Sunnyside United Dog Society (SUDS)....what a crock...more like Sunnyside Under Dog Sh*t!!!
    Dog owners think it is a free pass when it snows!! I love dogs - but obviously the owners in Sunnyside are not up to it! Yes - it is not just a few owners giving you all a bad name, I would say there is probably one owner who picks up for every two who do not.
    I walked by up to 20 piles of dog sh*t on way to work this morning - and that is only a few blocks!! These people make me sick!! It is disgusting!!
    I feel bad for some of the poor dogs couped up all day in an apt, get to walk a few times if they are lucky. Bursting to go to bathroom and barely make it outside!! Every day there is a pool of dog p*ss outside my building, sometimes a trail of p*ss from elevator to the door, dogs p*ssing all over recently planted trees. It's too much!!

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  35. The Grimster

    SUNNYSIDE YOU ARE FULL OF CACA!!!!

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  36. J-Low

    @ Sunnysider: go pop your Viagra, get busy with your lady and maybe you will be a lot happier once you get your rocks off.

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  37. Newby

    I moved to Sunnyside 2 years ago. I love it here. My neighbor has a dog & I go with her to the dog run with her dog. It does appear that the poop situation is much better now. I have met a couple of SUDS members and they are great. I am hoping to get a dog myself very soon. Go SUDS!

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  38. Guttersnipe

    @J-LOW LIFE: It seems you're the only tool posting here, and obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed! If you were performing your due diligence we wouldn't see your dog sh*t & pee stains all over our streets. Dogs can be trained to do their business in the road not on the street. It seem you lack the intelligence to do so. Garbage cans from the Dept. of Sanitation are not needed here. Just the removal of the trashy unconcerned dog owners like yourself!

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  39. Sunnyside Native

    @ Sunnysider - your comments are so ridiculous. The piles of poop that you speak of is a lie. Which block are you referring to? The majority of dogs in our neighborhood have a dog walker. We have around 10 dog walkers in the area now. Then consider the fact in the new world that we live in that many dog owners work from home, so the dogs get to go out more often. So most dogs are NOT couped up in an apartment. But thanks for being so concerned about our neighborhood dogs . Sunnyside has some of the most pampered pooches in the city. More & more buildings are going dog friendly, so get used to it!

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  40. Woody Woodpecker

    Amen - Sunnyside Native.

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  41. Sunnysid-ster

    I’m still..I'm still J-Low from the block…used to live in a neighborhood with a little not a lot (of poop)…I’m still..I’m still J-Low from the block!!

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  42. Sunnyside Native

    @ Guttersnipe - more garbage cans are definitely needed here. Get your head out of your ass & look around. It doesn't take a friggin rocket scientist to see that. I have seen so many store owners and/or tenants that live above the stores on Skillman Avenue, between 45th & 46th Street, throw their garbage out in the corner trash can receptacles. This, I believe, is part of why these corner trash cans get filled up so quickly. Everybody wants us dog owners to clean up after our dogs and most of us do. More trash cans would help in that endeavor.

    By the way - I pick up after my dogs & others if I see poop laying on the sidewalk. However, I agree with Jlow in that I am not dragging my dogs to the curb like cattle, interrupting him when he is mid-pee or mid-poop to appease any of you either. Deal with it!

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  43. GUTTERSNIPE

    @ Sunnyside Native - You And J LOW LIFE must walk your dogs together. People like yourselves shouldn't have dogs. You have no idea how to train or control your dogs. It's a real pity we all have to suffer for your uncaring attitude!

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  44. Sunnyside Native

    @ Guttersnipe - I will repeat myself because you seem to lack intelligence. I pick up my dogs poop, plus other dogs poop. Also, SUDS holds an annual scoop the poop day where we canvas the neighborhood from 40th Street to 48th Street, from Queens Blvd. down to Barnett Avenue, to pick up poop that did not come from my dogs. What am I am NOT doing is stopping my dog from doing a very natural act, by dragging or pulling him into the gutter, when he has already started doing his business. So move on! I am not risking myself or my dogs getting hit by a passing car, or deal with cars that are parking, to curtail my dog in the street to appease you - somebody who sounds like an A-hole. Get a grip and good night!

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  45. GUTTERSNIPE

    @ Sunnyside Native - It seems the only one that lacks intellengence here is yourself. It seems I have to repeat myself. Our streets are here for pedestrians to walk on and children to play on, NOT YOUR DOG TO SH*T AND PEE ON !! Oh by the way, when YOU feel a natural act comming on do you just do it anywhere you want or do relieve yourself in a Proper Place? If you are a "Native" your a pretty poor excuse for one. So get a grip on your dog and get over it!

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  46. Sunnyside Native

    @ Guttersnipe - Great comeback. You seem to have repeated the words that I said to you in the last post. I guess you are not very articulate. You could very well be the biggest tool in Sunnyside. The sidewalks are not for our neighborhood children to play on. That is what we have parks and playgrounds for, in which case we have five (5) parks in the vicinity for parents to take their children to and I will list them for you because you appear to be especially clueless: Lou Lodati Park / Torsney Park, Noonan Park, Sunnyside Gardens Park (go with a member if you are not one), Lawrence Virgilio Park and Doughboy Park. The sidewalk is an artery for live beings with two legs and four legs to walk, in order to get from one point to another. All solid canine fecal matter should be picked up and disposed of properly. Dog owners walk our dogs so they can do their business and relieve themselves. I am not stopping my dog from doing his business. I keep them off of lawns. So you are wasting your breath. You keep running your mouth, but it isn't going to get you anywhere. The next time you see a puddle that you perceive as dog urine, put on your big boy / big girl pants and walk around it. Or look at it as a little gift that my dog left for you...Good Night!

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  47. Jodi

    aiy yai yai

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  48. Jiminy Cricket

    Agree with S. Native. My dog takes a dump and I pick it up. I am not stopping her from going when she starts.

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Bostonian convicted of killing Berkeley Towers resident inside victim’s apartment
Berkeley Towners, 52-40 39th Drive

Berkeley Towners, 52-40 39th Drive

Jan. 29, By Christian Murray

A Boston man who murdered a Berkeley Towers resident inside the victim’s apartment was convicted yesterday of second degree murder, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.

Raymond Epps, 58, strangled and robbed Wayne Graves, 62, who was later found dead in his Woodside bathtub.

Graves fell victim to Epps in October 2011 after he allowed the Bostonian to stay with him in his 11th floor apartment, after meeting Epps at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

“The defendant repaid his benefactor’s generous act of kindness by strangling him in his own home and then stealing his credit cards,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A Brown.”His actions warrant a lengthy prison sentence to punish him and protect society.”

Epps, who has been in custody since December 2011, faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

Gerard Torre, a friend of Graves, testified that he visited the apartment on October 16, 2011, and that Epps introduced himself and said that he needed a place to stay and was staying a few nights with Graves.

Torre repeatedly called Graves the next day, but there was no answer. Then on Oct. 19, 2011, Torre went to the apartment and when no one answered he had the building’s super to open the door.

Graves’ body was discovered in the bathtub and his death was ruled as the result of strangulation.

Epps used Graves’ credit cards to buy a bus fare back to Boston. He then used the credit cards to buy merchandise from various stores, which he then used to trade for crack cocaine, according to the district attorney’s office.

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Bar 43 completes expansion, reopens tonight

bar43

prior to expansion

prior to expansion

Jan. 29, By Christian Murray

The expansion of Bar 43 & Grill is almost complete and the neighborhood sports bar is reopening tonight.

The bar, located at 43-06 43rd Street, has expanded into the space beside it, which was previously occupied by the Sunnyside Meat Market.

The bar now has room for 100 seats—up from 60. The number of TVs has also increased—from 11 to 23.

Nick Murphy and Mickey McCreesh, who own the establishment, started the expansion last summer. They gutted the old butcher shop and revamped it while keeping the bar open.

However, 10 days ago, they closed the bar down to smash the interior wall that had previously separated the two establishments.

Murphy said that their aim was to reopen in advance of the Super Bowl. While he had hoped the expansion would have been completed earlier this week he said he was glad the process was nearly over.

“We will still have a nice start going into [Super Bowl] weekend,” Murphy said.

The owners have put in a sliding door that can be used to cordon off the new space for private parties. However, for the most part, the door will remain open.

Murphy said that they are still awaiting their new exterior sign, which he anticipates will go up in the next few days.

Murphy said the bar will continue to operate the way it did before—offering sports, trivia, restaurant food and outdoor seating (in summer).

While Bar 43 is best-known as a sports bar, Murphy said it will continue to be a venue where families can go out for a quality dinner.

Nick Murphy

Nick Murphy

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Nolan announces that she wants Assembly Speaker job
Cathy Nolan

Cathy Nolan

Jan. 28, By Christian Murray

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan announced today that she wants to be the next speaker of the New York State Assembly.

Nolan’s announcement came shortly after Sheldon Silver, the longtime leader of the assembly, agreed to give up the position he has held for 21 years as a result of federal corruption charges.

“I am formally announcing my candidacy for Speaker of the New York State Assembly,” Nolan wrote in a statement. “In my 30 year Assembly career I have conducted myself with honesty and integrity.”

Nolan would be the first woman to get the top job and it would result in Sunnyside and Long Island City being represented by two high-ranking officials: Nolan as speaker and Jimmy Van Bramer as New York City majority leader.

Nolan is one of a handful of names in the running for the speaker race, which include Majority Leader Joseph Morelle from Rochester, Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie, and Manhattan Assemblyman Keith Wright.

“Lost in the names that have been mentioned as potential candidates for Speaker is that of a woman,” Nolan wrote. “A woman has never served as Speaker of the Assembly.”

The letter indicated that Nolan would have little tolerance for legislators who sexually harassed their staffers.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that he had talked to Nolan this morning. “She is a very serious contender and I can tell you she is very determined,” he said. She is not just floating her name out there, she is moving on this very decisively.”

Nolan has served on several committees during her tenure.

“I have extensive experience working with constituencies from all over our state, and have indeed ushered many proposals through both the budget process and the legislative process. Whether the issue is education, labor, mass transit or women’s issues, I have been at the forefront of the process,” Nolan wrote.

Nolan also wrote that she has never had a second job while working in the assembly.

“The people of New York State has been my only job – whether it be my own constituents, school children or working men and women in our state.”

Nolan is likely to get the support from Joseph Crowley, the head of Queens Democratic Party that would bring her the full 18-member assembly bloc of Queens.

“It is time for this institution to return to the high standards that the people of our state rightfully demand and expect. I stand ready to work with my colleagues to do just that for the people of the State of New York. They deserve nothing less,” Nolan wrote.

The new speaker is expected to be picked on Feb. 10.

statementfromassemblywomannolan-1 by sunnysidepost

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Sunnyside digs out after ‘historic’ storm

Jan. 27, Staff Report

The storm may not have lived up to the hype but Sunnyside was still left with plenty of snow.
Here is some of the aftermath.

sunnysidesnow7

sunnysidesnow5

sunnysidsnow5

sunnysidesnow4

sunnysidesnow3

sunnysidesnow2

sunnysidesnow1

sunnysidesnow

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Cathy Nolan is being discussed as the next Assembly Speaker

Registry

Jan. 26, Staff Report

The Queens Democratic machine is starting to flex its muscles and is calling for Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan to be next speaker should Sheldon Speaker be toppled, according to the New York Observer.

Top officials with the Queens Democratic Party are calling Assembly members in Queens, Manhattan and Nassau County to support Nolan, who has represented Ridgewood, Sunnyside and Long Island City since 1984.

“Queens is calling around, taking the temperature. They’re pushing Nolan,” an Albany Democratic source to the Observer. “They are floating her in case Shelly is no longer speaker so there’s a quick transfer of power and the body can move on.”

Sources say the Queens machine’s three top deputies–Michael Reich, Frank Bolz and Gerard Sweeney–are calling legislators to figure out what kind of support exists for a potential Nolan candidacy, the Observer reports.

Nolan is reportedly close to Silver and the teachers union, the Observer reports. Nolan has also forged an alliance with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who may look to exert his influence over the city’s Assembly delegation if Silver leaves his post.

Support from Joseph Crowley, the head of the Queens Democratic Party, could mean the full 18-member bloc of Queens lawmakers in the Assembly’s 150 member body would vote for her.

Nolan is regarded as one of the shrewder lawmakers in the body, the Observer reports, and would be the first woman ever elected speaker in New York, no small significance to female Assembly members.

Nolan could not be reached for this article.

Meanwhile, Silver, who is trying to hang onto the speaker role as he fights federal corruption charges, is expected to announce today that the assembly will be jointly run by five Assembly Democrats—one of whom is Nolan.

The other four are Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester), Herman “Denny” Farrell (D-Manhattan), Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) and Carl Heastie (D-Bronx).

Silver’s move will be deemed temporary, so he can focus on fighting the charges of kickbacks and corruption. However, there is still uncertainty as to whether Silver will be forced out.

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

Luke Adams (middle)

Jan. 24, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

Adams, who was at one time the president of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, was well known by the community for his work with the Sunnyside Woodside Lions Club and SunnysideArtists.org. Furthermore, he was the first recipient of the Sunnysider of the Year award, an award that is now named after him.

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

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

Officer William Caldarera and Officer Corey Sarro

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

The two officers went into action.

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

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

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

POSTER

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Race map

Leonor White (second from left

Leonor White (second from left)

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Former Dime Bank often used for TV/Movie shoots

IMG_0011(1)

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Officer William Caldarera and Officer Corey Sarro

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray Two officers from the 108th received an award this week after being deemed heroes for saving the life of a LaGuardia professor last month. Police Officers Corey Sarro and William Calderera were on routine patrol on Tuesday, Dec. 23, when they discovered a professor on the pavement outside the college. The elderly professor had suffered from a heart attack and was not breathing when the officers arrived. He was lying motionless and he did not have a heartbeat. The two officers went into action. Officer Sarro began performing chest compressions while Officer Calderea retrieved a defibrillator. After two attempts to resuscitate the professor, they were able to revive him. EMS then transported the professor to Elmhurst General Hospital in stable condition. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Mayor Bill de Blasio awarded the officers with a Proclamation on behalf of the city council for saving the professor’s life.
Sunnyside resident organizing fun run, aims to raise funds for the homeless
POSTER Jan. 23, By Christian Murray A Sunnyside resident is organizing a one mile fun run as part of her quest to raise funds for the Coalition for the Homeless. Leonor White, who is originally from Spain, is planning to hold the event on May 31st and has already received the permits necessary from the NYPD to use the streets. The event will start outside Lou Lodati Park on 43rd Street. Runners will then follow Barnett Avenue through to 52nd Street before finishing at Skillman Ave (44th Street). White aims to get 250 runners to participate. “I think that this is a great way to bring the community together,” White said. “It is also a way to remind everyone of how many adults and children are homeless.” White plans to make the event a competitive race as well as a fun run. She said that there will be an adult race as well as one for children (below 16 years of age) . Meanwhile for most, she said it will be a fun run or walk. White said that there will be a nominal charge to participate—expecting it to be between $5 and $10. Those funds will go toward the homeless. She is currently reaching out to local businesses to see whether they will help sponsor the event, which would generate additional funds to go toward the homeless. She encourages others to get involved in helping put the race together. She can be contacted at leonorwhite@hotmail.com Race map
Leonor White (second from left

Leonor White (second from left)

Former Dime Bank often used for TV/Movie shoots
IMG_0011(1) Jan. 23, By Christian Murray Signage that went up at the former Dime Bank location on Queens Blvd Wednesday indicated that a new bank tenant was moving in. Exterior signs read: “Fisher Bank,” and inside there were posters advertising retirement accounts and current interest rates. The bank, however, was fictional. It was decked out as part of a set for the TV show Person of Interest, a sci-fi crime drama series. Bank Queens Blvd SunnysideThe bank has been used for many TV shoots. Scenes for the crime-series Blue Bloods staring Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg were shot there last year when a robbery was staged there as part of its 100th anniversary episode. John Ciafone, the owner of the building, said that he gets a lot of interest from TV and film crews looking to use the bank space. Late last year a small independent movie company also used the bank for it film. Ciaphone said the bank will be used for movie and TV sets up until the time the building is demolished to make way for apartments. The building is expected to be demolished in the second half of this year.
Tom Selleck in Sunnyside last year (Photo: George Burles)

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

Sunnyside: Van Bramer issues report card, focuses on schools, parks and traffic safety
Van Bramer Jan. 22, By Christian Murray Sunnyside, NY: When he’s asked the tough questions, he typically doesn’t duck for cover. What are your thoughts on 5Pointz? Private property, he responds. What do you think of building on the Sunnyside Yards? Absolutely not. Do you believe in term limits for community board members? Yes. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who darts from event-to-event, isn’t known for hedging his bets. Instead he is direct, fast on his feet, and very self assured. It’s this self confidence that leads him to release an annual self assessment—or report card—every January. It is a rare concept, as most council members don’t do it. “I like people to know what I’ve been doing,” Van Bramer often says, adding that people should know what their council person does. “I don’t want anyone asking: ‘Who is he? What does he do?” The 15-page report states in large font: “16,554 and counting” referring to the number of constituent cases Van Bramer and his staff have handled over the past five years. Furthermore, it said that in 2014, he served on six committees—including as chair of Cultural Affairs and Libraries-and had a “95.3% attendance record.” Van Bramer said that he has laid the groundwork for a number of Sunnyside/Woodside projects that will come to fruition this year. The $1. 3 million revamp of Thomas P. Noonan Park—located at the intersection of Greenpoint Avenue and 43rd Street-- is expected to be completed by summer; a new elementary school in Woodside will be opening in September; and further traffic safety measures are about to go into effect. The ribbon cutting at Thomas P. Noonan Park will come at a time when several other park developments are in the works. The Parks Department is currently drafting preliminary plans for a $2.2 million upgrade to Big Bush Park (behind the Big Six Towers) as well as the $500,000 revamp of Hart Playground on 37th Ave. in Woodside. Furthermore, a $500,000 upgrade to Windmuller park is coming that will cover the cost of building a new skateboard area, as well as fixing the band shell area that has been damaged by skateboarders performing their stunts. However, Van Bramer said that there has been one park project that has been delayed; the dog run at Doughboy Park, which is adjacent to PS 11. Van Bramer, who allocated $250,000 for the dog run in 2012, said that it is behind schedule due to the construction of a school annex at PS 11, which is located at 54-24 Skillman Avenue. He said that the contractor may need that the space where the dog run will go while construction takes place. Van Bramer takes pride in his quest to bring more classroom space—such as the the PS 11 annex-- to the area. “We have the first new school in 60 years coming to Woodside,” Van Bramer said, referring to PS 339 (located at 39-01 57th Street), which is scheduled to open in September with the capacity to serve 470 students. Meanwhile in Sunnyside, PS 343 (The Walter McCaffrey Campus) opened at 45-45 42nd St in September, which can cater to 434 students. In addition, construction of a 600-seat building at IS 125 (46-02 47 Ave.) is in the works, which is likely to lead to the removal of the trailers that are currently spread across the school grounds. “I will continue to build schools…and invest in parks,” Van Bramer said. Van Bramer secured $4.5 million in funding last year for the renovation and expansion of Thalia Spanish Theatre, which is located at 41-17 Greenpoint Avenue. The funds will double the theater’s seating capacity from 75 to 150. That section of Greenpoint Avenue in the past few years has been an area filled with vacancies. However, with the upgrade of the supermarket on the strip, the arrival of other businesses and the impending revamp of Thalia that section of Greenpoint Ave. is showing signs of improvement. Van Bramer said that the Sunnyside business district is on the upsurge in general. “There are very few vacant stores,” he said. He said that the acquisition—and likely development—of several parcels of property on Queens Blvd is largely the result of a booming real estate market coupled with Sunnyside being viewed as a vibrant and safe neighborhood. Meanwhile, a Woodside street cleaning program that involves two workers cleaning Roosevelt (51st to 61st Streets) and Woodside Avenues will continue. In addition, the graffiti cleanup program—where streets such as Broadway, Skillman Ave, 43rd Ave., Roosevelt Ave. and Woodside Ave. are cleaned monthly--has also been funded for this year. Slow zonesVan Bramer said that he has been working on many transportation issues since he has been in office—with the greatest number of constituent cases he and his staff have had to deal with being transportation concerns. While many of these issues have dealt with the No. 7 train and the MTA (which are overseen by the state), he hears from constituents about stop signs and dangerous driving. He said that he advocated for the 25 mph speed limit and slow zones within Sunnyside and Woodside. The slow zone in Sunnyside (south of Queens Blvd) is complete—with the Woodside (which includes northern Sunnyside) expected to be completed within the first half of this year. “People are concerned about the safety of their kids and families,” Van Bramer said, who put in an application with the Department of Transportation for the two slow zones. Van Bramer takes great pride in his strong support of Vision Zero—including his push for launching arterial slow zones on Northern and Queens Blvd. Furthermore, he received citywide attention for his “Justice for Hit and Run Victims Act,” which recently went into effect that imposes a hefty civil penalty on drivers who flee the scene of an accident. Van Bramer, who was named Majority Leader at the beginning of last year, also said that the position allows him to be a better advocate for the district. For instance, he said, he was in a better position to be able to reach out to the administration to let it be known that the Pepsi sign in Long Island City should not lose its place on the “Landmarks Preservation calendar.” Van Bramer is politically ambitious and does not hide it. He said that he will definitely run for city council again in 2017. He would not comment if he has speakership goals in mind—or whether a city-wide office would come after that. “The council speakership was determined over a period of a few weeks [in December 2013] so it is way too far away to start thinking about that,” Van Bramer said. “And then another four years after that…anything could happen by then.” For Van Bramer's report card, please click here: .
LIC: A strange caricature of a religious Muslim draws plenty of hate
anti-muslim Jan. 21, By Christian Murray A strange caricature of a religious Muslim accompanied by the words Je Ne suis Pas Charlie—has been placed on Jackson Avenue near the Court Square train station. The slogan Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie (I am Not Charlie) is a term adopted by some people following the massacre of 12 people at the French publication Charlie Hebdo. These people viewed Charlie Hedbo as a distasteful publication in the way it portrayed Muslims and other groups. The sign has several anti Muslim messages scribbled on it...such as "Islam stones women to death..." and "Muslims kill homo-sexuals." The messages are likely to have been written by a passerby who took exception to the poster. . muslim .
Two northern Italians open ‘Brick-Oven Pizzeria’ on Greenpoint Avenue
olivilla and samone

Salvatore Olivella and Simone Apollonio

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

Suspect from surveillance camera (NYPD)

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

Sunnyside Map 2014 010615 Crops by sunnysidepost

Sunnyside Directory 2014 010715 Crops by sunnysidepost

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

Daniel Dromm

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

ByLaws CB1 by sunnysidepost

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

Greenpoint Avenue

Jan. 13, By Christian Murray A piece of public art went up today on a large billboard on Greenpoint Avenue—between 45th and 46th Streets. The artwork has been installed by “14X48,” a non-profit organization that takes vacant billboards and then brightens them up through public art. The Greenpoint Avenue billboard is now covered with a collage of 80-plus posters that all start with the slogan “Keep Calm.” Each poster has a separate message, such as: “Keep Calm and Kiss Me,” or “Keep Calm and play basketball.” The slogan originated in Britain during WWII, with “Keep Calm and Carry On.” While the British did not use it, the slogan has since been used for marketing purposes. The artist, Margeaux Walter of Brooklyn, said that that she chose the slogan since it addressed the “overlap between individuality and commerce as well as the various guises of advertising and propaganda.” The artwork will be up for at least four weeks. The artist also invites people to tweet messages using the hashtag #keepcalm14x48. These tweets will be made into postcards and distributed along Greenpoint Avenue and at Ave. Coffee House. For more information, please click here.  

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