De Blasio joins parade-goers at Sunnyside/Woodside’s St. Pats for All

March 3, By Christian Murray

Kids from the Bronx, gay activists, die-hard Irishmen and, yes, plenty of politicians, all turned out for the 15th St. Pats for All Parade in Sunnyside/Woodside on Sunday.

The parade took on a very political flavor this year—with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is boycotting the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Fifth Avenue, in attendance with more than 10 council members.

De Blasio told a large crowd at the beginning of the event that “this parade celebrates diversity, inclusion and unity and that is what this city is about.”

De Blasio said that when the parade got started 15 years ago, it was not easy getting it off the ground. “It, however, caught on because it was the right thing to do.”

“A lot of times you have to start things in the direction of progressive values and start a process of change… and over time people take to it and understand it is the right way,” he said.

The parade was established after Irish groups were prohibited from marching under gay banners on Fifth Ave. That policy continues and that is why de Blasio will not be attending the Manhattan event.

Melissa Mark-Viverito , the council speaker, said that this neighborhood’s St. Pats for All Parade is the place to be. “It includes everyone…and welcomes and embraces everyone.”

State Sen. Mike Gianaris, however, complimented the parade organizers on the big turnout. “One of the great joys of representing Sunnyside/Woodside is watching this grow each year. And I don’t think I have seen a crowd this big before,” Gianaris said.

Meanwhile, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who protested at the Fifth Avenue parade many years ago, focused largely on the neighborhood, urging parade goers to even shop at local stores. “Support this community that supports equality for all,” he said.

The message of gay rights and equality, however, still remained a central theme of the event.

This year’s grand marshals—Tom Duane and Terry McGovern–spoke at great length about gay rights and their concerns about oppressive laws that have been introduced or passed in Africa and India.

Participants

Among this year’s participants were The Keltic Dream Irish Dancers, a group of 35 children from the Bronx, who performed classic jigs as the speeches were going on.

The pipe bands and traditional Irish musicians added to the Irish authenticity of the event; so too, did an Irish language school and the Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dancers. Even the local Sunnyside dog group, SUDSMUTS, marched, with their dogs dressed in an assortment of green regalia such as a scarf with “Kiss me I’m Irish.”

At the same time, there were also a variety of children’s groups marching under a multitude of banners; the Shannon Gaels, Swim Strong, Sunnyside/Woodside Boys and Girls Club, Girl Scouts of Sunnyside Woodside and various schools.

A plethora of gay groups were also out in force. Among them was Stonewall Democrats of NYC, Queens Lesbian & Gay Pride Committee and DignityNY.

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65 Responses to De Blasio joins parade-goers at Sunnyside/Woodside’s St. Pats for All

  1. Stay Loose, Sunnyside

    The mayor also mentioned that he had heard the the place to go after the parade was Saints and Sinners for some restoratives to marching in the cold weather. Did anyone join him? We had another party to attend...

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  2. JaneGrissom

    So, Mayor Big Bird- the man who wishes to destroy good schools and reward the bad ones, showed up in Sunnyside. He boycotts the mainstream Fifth Avenue parade. And we are supposed to be flattered by his appearance? I noticed that he was surrounded by police - the police force whom he despises. What a phony!

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  3. Doge

    Gay this, gay that.

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  4. Sunnysideisblooming

    What a great day yesterday was for Sunnyside! Parade and music festival. Hey, do something good for the neighborhood. Check out my group sunnysideisblooming.com. We are trying to do planting projects around the neighborhood. Check us out and be positive about Sunnyside! You can make a positive difference in Sunnyside!!!! You'll be hearing more about us as the year goes on! Give us a look.

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  5. Krissi

    Beyond whether or not you agree with the parade or DeBlasio, its always so great to see the community come together for events like this. I'm sure the restaurants and bars did good business afterwards, as well as the smaller stores during the parade.

    I met quite a few new "neighbors" there and ran into a bunch of people from my building too. Such fun!

    Did anyone catch who was that great dancing marching band in blue at the end of the parade? I didn't notice a banner. They were fab!

    Also unless I missed them where were our Cental American coalition? Usually we have a Mexican troupe and a Peruvian troupe, no?

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  6. Celtic Bark

    Tolerance is a two way street.

    Apparently, some people cannot tolerate those who wish to act according to their religious faith and try to bully them into going against it.

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  7. Ari Fink

    There once was a time in America when the backseat of a convertible was reserved for war heroes or for someone who was to be admired for outstanding contributions to society. Yesterday that seat was reserved for a Transvestite with whom our mayor eagerly posed for pictures with..Yesterday's parade was not a homage to a saint or a celebration of Irish heritage but simply a gay pride media opportunity

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  8. JaneGrissom

    Definitely was a gay parade. Which is fine, except organizers are dishonest about it.

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  9. Celtic Bark

    @Ari Fink

    I agree, this parade has absolutely nothing to do with honoring a saint. They really should change the name and spare Saint Patrick the disrespect. Let's call things what they really are. This is the shamrock franchise of the Gay Pride parade and should be called as such.

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  10. Chris

    I was disappointed that Squirts didn't have his own float! How could you call this all inclusive without one of Sunnyside's biggest celebrities!

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  11. JOR

    Great pictures, particularly the still shots in the slide show at the top of the article. Really like the third picture of DeBlasio framed by press and watchers, captures the moment. The Sunnyside Post should submit it to the Pulitizer Committee.

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  12. Stay Loose, Sunnyside

    smh

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  13. The truth at Last

    Thank you Ari.....well written. Certainly a 'gay" parade with an agenda to exclude those who dont share their point of view. Would the organizers have allowed the "Right to Life Party" to march with a banner? Why don't the organizers form a branch of their own religion and nominate their own saints ? Maybe cannonize a few deceased transvestites? And then worship them? And spread the Gospel according to Ru Paul?

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  14. Eire

    As an American of Irish ancestry, I take great offense to this parade! The parade should reflect our cultural identity, all the great things the Irish have done in this country and revear the patron saint of Ireland (St. Patrick). What I have seen of the last few years seems like a mess-mash of organizations with some Irish music blaring from an ugly wagon this does not reflect our cultural indentity. Further, it was a travesty to see some colored children dressed in Irish garb dancing like they were having a temper tantrum a few years ago. You don't see gay organizations macking other nationalities or cultures as they do with this parade.

    It is my opinion that Daniel Drumm is using this parade to further his political career, push the Gay agenda and deepen his pockets. Beside having some people walk down the street wearing green does this parade heighten the understanding of what the Irish people went throught both here in America or abroad. When you go to any other St. Patrick's Parade you see the organization teach our heritage through music, word and wrote. Mr. Drumm could partner with the Irish cultural center which isn't that from the parade site but that would require more then a permit from the Office of Community Affairs and the Police Department. I do not see why Mr. Drumm needs to bring down the Irish into the fad of outted Gays.

    I feel whatever is your lifestyle keep it to yourself why must you parade your life choices and draw attendtion to yourself. I'm left handed, I don't to raise hell because the rest of the world is right handed. What you do on your own time should be just that and besides the Gay people have a whole month in June. So I thank for the future besides using their media connections both Mr. Van Brammer and Drumm should either try to make their event more enriched about Irish-Americans or just change the name of the parade to their real thrust.

    Additionally, as a Catholic it hurts my heart that reverance is not shown during this event. People past by Queen of Angels church as if it is just another building. Any Irishman knows we have great respect for Mary Queens of the Angels, so why did I have to see lude behavior infront of the church?

    I feel that the community feel as I do should come together next yearto block this aweful event. Mocking all the things Irishman and woman worked for Peace, Values, kinship and love of family, faith and your fellow man. What values has this parade showed us- political might can throw a gay party.

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  15. Celtic Bark

    @Eire

    I share some of your sentiment but I totally disagree with your call to block this event next time. As I have pointed out before, tolerance should go both ways. If a few thousand people want to have a gay pride parade mocking Saint Patrick and Christian faith, they have that constitutional right, as you have the right to let everyone know just how you feel about it. It's easy to be "tolerant" when you only tolerate things you agree with, a lesson the gay community might wish to learn as well.

    As for your remark about "colored children dressed in Irish garb" I fail to see what their skin color has to do with anything. I find nothing offensive about that. I haven't heard the term "colored" as applying to people since I heard some older relatives use it in the mid 1970's.

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  16. Celtic Bark

    One question for the organizers:

    There's a Muslim Day Parade in the city as well. I'll take a wild guess here and say that openly gay groups are not welcome in it. Will you try to impose yourselves on that parade as much as as you have on the traditional Saint Patrick's Day parade?

    I didn't think so.

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  17. Margie

    Eire is spot on.

    The St. Patrick's day celebration is to pay homage to St. Patrick and the celebration of Irish heritage.

    As stated in the above article, "The parade took on a very political flavor this year". Hello -- This is not about politics -- it's a celebration of Irish heritage. So these phoney politicians should go home!! - because that's all they are and they are using this traditional celebration for their own personal gain.

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  18. Eire

    Tolerance and miss guidance are two different things . Mr. Drumm is making a great deal of money branding his ragga muffin Gay parade as dually a celebration of both Irish and Gay cultures. My point was his central theme of inclusion was a far amissed- leaning more about being Gay and less about Irish culture.

    When I use the term colored it was meant not as a way of disrespect but unclear of the children nationalities and why didnt he use a real dancing troop rather kids dressed up and doing the pee pee dance.

    I would like to see a parade which bears its namesake. Danny drumm holds his event here because of the number of Irish people in the area. Someone should ask Mr drumm how much he is many off this event and how much goes back to the sunnyside community?

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  19. ann

    Let's note that phony politicians are out in much greater numbers at the St. Patricks's Day parade on March 17! I don't hear any criticism of that.

    The point, as many of the speakers said, is that Irish culture is not owned by some but belongs to all. Including gay and lesbian people. The parade in Dublin recognizes not. It's just the parade in New York City that is 100 years behind. I suppose the Irish in Dublin don't really understand Irish culture or what it means to be Irish?

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  20. Luvu2

    This is a gay lefty parade period that has nothing to do with Ireland if people want a gay parade in March fine but don't call it st pats for all

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  21. Luvu2

    I dare dromm and jimmy van b to go to the Moslem day parade on a float

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  22. The truth at Last

    Is it ok to have a coven of witches march next year....with a banner? Or perhaps nambla ( north american Man Boy Love association) ? How bout a group of devil worshippers....if not? then why not? Are'nt they entitled to their beliefs?

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  23. future is now

    Krissi - the group was from Dobbs Ferry

    Eire - the parade route doesn't pass by Queen of Angels church anymore. There were no lewd acts either.

    It was a great parade, good energy. Proud to be a Sunnysider!

    This parade has been political over the years. Let's applaud the Mayor for sticking to his principles.

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  24. The truth at Last

    Should I allow my young daughter to share a restroom with this 'drag queen" Or maybe since the "drag queen" has the option perhaps share the mens room with a young boy? Then how would I be able to explain why their is a "mens" room and a "ladies " room in the first place.....would'nt just be logical to have niether designation?

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  25. Kramden's Delicious Marshall

    Seriously, what on earth does a man dressed up as and pretending to be a woman have to do with Saint Patrick or Ireland? Is putting on make-up and women's clothes considered some sort of a praise-worthy accomplishment these days?

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  26. Eamon

    When the St. Patricks' Day Parade started, before the birth of this great nation, by the way, it was a way for the Irish here in New York to say to the "natives" that we are here, we're not going anywhere, and this is our home as much as it is yours.

    To have a St. Patricks Day Parade in America and not include everyone is hypocritical and, furthermore, shows that you don't understand who we, The New York Irish, are as a people.

    I go to the pride parade in June, and no one yells at me "You are straight, you are not allowed here." I went to the Indian Independence Parade on Lexington Avenue as a kid, because it was right up the street from my house, and no one said "You are white, you are not allowed here." Then why is it ok for us to say these things at our parade?

    It wasn't too long ago that there were signs in this country that said things like "Irish need not apply" or "No coloreds, no dogs, no Irish". Thankfully, we no longer live in those times. People fought to end those policies. Unfortunately, other people fought to continue those policies, and they, like you, Eire, are on the losing side of history.

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  27. Nat

    I can't believe that in 2014 there is so much hatred and ignorance in New York City. Move to Alabama if you can't handle the gay. We are here to stay. Being gay is not a choice, nor is it a lifestyle. Grow up and learn a little about your neighbors. I'm sorry I missed the parade but I will be sure to strut my gay stuff next year and embarrass all of you bigots.

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  28. Dawn O'Day

    While posters on both sides of the issue may go too far in their effort to express themselves and I can't agree with any extremity, it saddens me that the Irish Americans have been attacked by the gay community because a handful of organizers have their heads in the dark.

    Gay rights must be won, I agree. But you've made your point here. Can't you please move on to another ethnic group with extremely conservative members? Stop hammering on the Irish Americans. This boycott of one of America's favorite days makes everyone look ugly including gays.

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  29. Celtic Bark

    @Nat

    It would be really impressive if you decided to "strut your gay stuff" at the next Muslim Day Parade. That I would go to see.

    Anyway, I thought the parade was about Saint Patrick, not about you strutting your gay stuff, as you so eloquently put it.

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  30. Celtic Bark

    The organizers of the traditional Saint Patrick's Parade are conservative and Catholic-based and simply want their parade to reflect their faith and moral viewpoint. Why should they not be allowed to do so? Why would people opposed to those views insist on crashing the party? Right of free association, anyone?

    The organizers of the Sunnyside parade are also free to run their parade as they see fit so there shouldn't be any problem except that social agendas must be pushed and politicians need photo ops.

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  31. Nat

    Celtic Bark, you didn't take my advice. Crawl out from under that rock! Do you think sexuality is a "social agenda"? Or were you referring to something else?

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  32. emit

    When did become that if you wore green you became Irish
    Or the rainbow you became Queer.

    If the gays want to have a parade then should just title it something gay but not hide it as something else.

    I agree/diagree with some of the above posts & do think whoever ran the parade »it should some how relate to Irish culture & give back to the community whether its the ga¥, straight, disabled, left handed, dog lovers or whatever. I know the Manhattan parade uses their money for cultural programs.

    sunnysideisblooming.com

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  33. Frank

    Cheers Dawn O'Day

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  34. Greenman

    The saint pats for all parade is such a great community event. It was really great to see all the community groups participate. I'm glad we live in such welcoming community that encourages all aspects of irish-American culture to share in celebrating irish heritage.

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  35. Beenhere25years

    Colored children in Irish garb. Wow! That guy is scary.

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  36. Ari Fink

    @Greenman...I must have been wearing a blindfold because I
    tbe celebration of Irish " culture"...The only culture present was a gay culture and that was "OUT" in full force...I guess you could say the She-Male was a big success considering how eager the mayor was to meet him..although I am at a loss as to what a She-Male has to do with a so called St Patrick's parade

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  37. Get Off Your A** and Create Your Own FLoat

    Everyone likes to complain that the parade was all gays marching...same complainers aren't involved in ANYTHING regarding the parade. Get off your smelly couch, get yourself to a parade organization meeting, and promote your precious Saint Patrick (who was a Roman, by the way). The parade on Fifth Ave isn't about Irish culture either-- it's about cops, firemen, and getting loaded. If gay people are the ones with the energy and drive to march and organize, then they are the ones you will see, you bunch of hater crybabies. Welcome to the 21st century, you aren't in charge anymore. Get used to it.

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  38. Patricia Dorfman

    Better resolution of video on youtube:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UU2jfWThy9X2ImzqbIf3_70A&v=y-osH0Jfsdw#t=848

    At minute:second 12:48 PO Luis Diaz, our excellent 108 Community Affairs officer in blue windbreaker bops by
    At 13:39, I pass by
    At 15:00 Dorothy Morehead makes an appearance

    Thank christian, enjoyed article, pix and spot-your-pal video. tho, not sure about Pulizer, @JOR...Let's see if murray leaves this in: for another St. Pat's story and pix by me, pick up the "woodside herald" on Friday. that's right, a newspaper, news on pieces of paper :)

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  39. I'm so tired

    I want a parade for the Puerto Rican terrorist bombers that mellisa wants to let to free, these are the type people that are are in power now

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  40. I'm so tired

    Nat , I do have a question , bill di blasios wife was once a lesbian true !! But later must of changed her mind to be straight or is she living a lie or not having a choice or I don't know , please explain

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  41. I'm so tired

    Dear nat .. What I'm trying to say is I have nothing against gay people but it doesn't always have to be about you or your sexuality. Can't a parade just be about st pat ? Why bring sex into it. A basket ball star is coming out as gay , why I'm just here to watch basketball I don't care what you do at home same with the football player , it's kind of like you want the attention .

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  42. Pat

    What is really funny is that there are many 'gays' marching in the
    NY St Patrick's day parade, just not flaunting their sexual life style.
    ....They are marching to honor their heritage ....

    I would call them Intelligent, classy "gays" who have self respect.

    The parade is not about sex, it is about St Patrick and honoring
    our ancestors who came here and helped to build this country.

    Come on parade organizers, call it what it is, A Gay Pride parade ..

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  43. Disengaged Business Owner

    @erie "Colored children?" Wow, what a bigot! Maybe learn a little bit about these remarkable young people -- and their teacher, thoroughly WHITE and 100% IRISH. http://www.thekelticdreams.com/aboutus.html

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  44. Anonymous

    Celtic Bark, no one is asking anyone to go against their religion, just saying to STFU if you have an issue with equil rights for everyone. Your an Idiot if you really feel your opinion on religion entitles you to voice an opinion that could keep someone from being happy.

    P.S your Dad is gay and your mom wish's you were adopted.

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  45. Enuf

    Instead of just complaining here all the people who oppose the parade should voice there concern to the pd, van brammer or the community board!

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  46. JaneGrissom

    Another far left gay parade with politicians who will not go the big parade on Fifth Avenue. They think they are "brave" - they are not. BTW: having lived in the deep south, I saw less bigotry there than I do in NYC especially towards people of faith. Somebody hear wrote "go back to Alabama'. I would love it - they are thriving and I rarely heard the "n" word there. I hear it here ALL THE TIME. Also saw lots of interracial dating there.

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  47. J Thokai

    A truly sad news for normal people. Enough said.

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  48. The Grimster

    Colored OMG! wow haven't heard that term since Archie Bunker.

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  49. Craic Dealer

    Free to hate but not Free to Love.

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  50. Hoof Hearted

    Craic Dealer, thanks for the profound bumper sticker wisdom.

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  51. Anonymous

    Don't make a great parade in Sunnyside all about the new gang leading the city (somewhere, where is not clear).....

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  52. Greenman

    Ari,

    There are many different parts of irish and American culture. The st pats for all parade allows all people who wish to celebrate irish culture join in the parade either by marching or watching. The parade helps to unite the many different parts of our community. Many of the groups that participated are from Sunnyside and woodside and all wish to show their support for all members of our community.

    I'm sorry that you don't feel that it was an irish celebration. Maybe you should research who was honored.

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  53. Luvu2

    This is a gay green parade

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  54. Pumped U Up Putin

    This type of parade would never happen in my country RUSSIA!

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  55. Beenhere25years

    Any chance that you'll go back to your country. There are some job openings in the Ukraine.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  56. Al Coholic

    Hey, relax. Have a drink. Drinks are good

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  57. A.Bundy

    In Russia, parade marches in you!

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  58. pathetic sheep

    There is no God. Wake up dummies. You belong to a cult people. Wise up.

    What an incredible waste of time. Religion was invented by MAN. It has been used as a tool of control, oppression, corruption and brainwashing for millennia. The Bible proudly tells stories of violence, slavery and the treatment of women as 2nd class individuals.

    Look up the history of Christianity and you will find centuries of oppression toward many groups: Jews, Gays,(both burned alive) Women (Imagine belonging to a religious sect that doesnt allow women to be priests-Catholocism, Judaism, Islam, the list goes on).

    This is your proud heritage? Congrats! No wonder the 'great' parade in Manhattan is really about getting wasted on booze...trying to forget the past maybe?

    "Many stories are told in connection with St. Patrick. The three-leaf clover was said to be used by the saintly bishop to explain the Trinity to the pagans, which is why it is such a common St. Patrick's Day symbol today. Another legend has Patrick driving all the snakes out of Ireland; snakes were a popular symbol among the Irish pagans. He is certainly one of the most revered saints in the Catholic Church."

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  59. Woody Woodpecker

    truer words were never spoken Pathetic Sheep. People actually believe that some dude or dudette is looking down on them and judging them.

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  60. Celtic Bark

    Woody woodpecker comment above....

    A case study in intolerance.

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  61. Luvu2

    Libs hate god but he loves them any way

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  62. Chilly Billy

    Your chosen name suits you well, "pathetic sheep."

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  63. rook

    that de blasio is such a phony one term mayor.

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  64. pathetic sheep

    chilly lil billy, you are just sad & scared because you know I am right. At least I have the guts to say it. You on the other hand keep drinking the 'holy' kool-aid.

    Have you seen the story of Muslim nations that are banning the film 'Noah' because of its portrayal of a 'Holy event'? Think about it...they are banning a fictitious movie about a ficticious event. Might be the funniest thing of 2014, thus far.

    PS

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  65. Tommy Dullaghan

    Although I enjoyed your article I need to advise you the Sunnyside parade was not created or had anything to do with LGBT at its inception. I grew up in Sunnyside and its because we are the second largest Irish population to Woodlawn in NYC and thought it ridiculous we didn't have a parade that it came to be. Beside Manhattan we always went to Rockaway for a parade. It was basically a street fair in the beginning just celebrating "everything Irish" but as we know it has turned into more than that now. Over the years it became what it is for LBGT and others who feel they are excluded from other parades most notably the 5th Ave parade.

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Sunnyside struck by six burglaries in the past week
44

43-40 40th Street

Oct. 20, By Christian Murray

There have been six burglaries in Sunnyside in the past week, with thieves taking items such as iPhones, iPads, laptops and credit cards, police said.

The burglaries started on Tuesday, Oct. 14, when four apartments on 40th Street (btw. 43rd Ave. and 47th Avenues) were targeted.

The perpetrator started at 8 am when he entered 45-48 40th Street and broke into two apartments, before fleeing with several electronic items, police said. Then at 11:45 am, a burglar gained access to an apartment at 43-38 40th Street and stole items such as an iPhone and credit card.

Later that day, a burglar attempted to break into an apartment at 43-34 40th at around 3:30 pm. The victim heard a noise in living room, causing the suspect to flee.

But the thieves were not done. On Wednesday, Oct. 15, a burglar broke into 43-32 40th Street around 4:15pm and fled with several items, police said.

Shortly after the incidents, the police sent in somewhere between 15 and 20 officers to keep tabs on the area and the burglaries ceased. However, while the problem in stopped in the 40s, two burglaries took place in the 50s later in the week.

On Friday, Oct. 17, the police reported burglaries at 41-25 50th Street and 39-72 52 Street.

In addition to the burglaries, two cars in Sunnyside Gardens were tampered with during the week. One had its tires and rims stolen—before being placed on blocks. The other had its window smashed.

Anyone with information on any of these incidents is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS. Furthermore, in the case of the burglaries, if anyone sees anyone suspicious on a fire escape or in a court yard they are asked to call the police.

47th Street

autodamage

 

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Sunnyside Restaurant Week kicks off Monday
Salt & Fat

Salt & Fat

Oct. 19, By Christian Murray

Sunnyside’s second annual restaurant week kicks off Monday and 33 restaurants have signed up to participate.

The event, organized by Sunnyside Shines, aims to showcase Sunnyside as a destination for high-quality cuisine. Its goal is tempt residents to try new places and draw foodies from other parts of New York City.

Furthermore, there will also be artwork on display at five participating restaurant—with three of those pieces coming from Sunnyside artists.

On Monday, there will be a reception held at 7pm at Salt and Fat (41-16 Queens Boulevard) to mark restaurant week. The reception will include a guided tour of the five art installations as well as a movie screening at Dazies.

The art is being curated by No Longer Empty, a Manhattan-based contemporary art organization. The work will be on display at Bucharest Restaurant, Los Verdes, PJ Horgan’s, Salt & Fat and Venturo.

However, for many, the main attraction won’t be the art—it will be the food.

Each restaurant will serve a three course dinner menu for $25—from lunchtime Monday through Friday Oct. 24.

The participating restaurants span the globe. There will be Japanese, Turkish, Irish, Italian, Romanian, Mexican, Peruvian, French, Colombian, Filipino, Paraguayan, Tibetan, Thai, and Seasonal American food on offer.

Restaurants from Skillman Avenue through 47th Avenue have signed up this year. Last November, when Sunnyside Restaurant Week was launched, 17 restaurants took part.

“Last year’s event was a big success for neighborhood restaurants,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director, of Sunnyside Shines. “I am proud that we have doubled the number.”

Participating restaurants will also include newcomers to the Sunnyside scene—such as Tibetan Dumpling Café and Blu Orchid. Venturo and Salt & Fat, which were recently recognized as Michelin “Bib Gourmands,” will be participating again this year.

Sunnyside Shines has listed the 33 restaurants on its website. Most have put together a special menu just for Sunnyside Restaurant Week.

All this for $25.

Takesushi: All this for $25.

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Parking costs might rise in Sunnyside/Woodside, as DOT has preliminary plans to introduce ‘Park Smart’

meters

Oct. 17, By Christian Murray

Representatives from the Department of Transportation attended a Community Board 2 meeting last week and introduced a preliminary plan to introduce “Park Smart”– a program that aims to free up parking spaces–in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.

The program attempts to reduce the time it takes for motorists to find parking in business districts– by changing meter rates, extending park hours and modifying commercial parking zones.

The program was first introduced in Queens in 2013, with the implementation of a pilot program in Jackson Heights.

The program typically focuses on changing the meter rates to encourage short-term parking through “progressive” rates.

For instance on certain streets in Jackson Heights, it now costs 50 cents to park for 30 minutes, $1:50 for an hour, $2:50 for 90 minutes and $4 for 2 hours.

However, in some cases, the parking period has been extended on certain streets. For instance, one hour limits have been increased to two.

Park Smart typically aims to change the commercial parking and delivery zones. “Early Morning Delivery Zones” are often established to provide loading space before the meters turn on at 10 a.m., and “Paid Commercial Parking Zones” reserve daytime metered spaces for commercial uses.

The Department of Transportation will not introduce the system unless business owners opt into the program. The DOT representatives told the Community Board 2 that it will reach out to Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, the Long Island City Partnership and Woodside on the Move to get their feedback. Those groups are likely to conduct a survey of local businesses to get their feedback.

Park Smart is not a program that typically goes into effect overnight as the DOT typically evaluates each street to determine whether the parking times and rates need to be modified.

Furthermore it is typically implemented as a pilot program before becoming permanent.

The programs were made permanent in Park Slope and Greenwich Village, after they were deemed effective, according to the DOT.

However, the pilot program on Madison Avenue and East 86th Street was brought to a halt after it was viewed as being ineffective, according to published reports.

For more information on Park Smart click here

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Sunnyside building winds up on ‘Worst Landlord Watch List’
 43-15 46th Street

43-15 46th Street

Oct. 16, By Christian Murray

New York’s annual “Worst Landlord Watch List” was released last week and it included a poorly-run building in Sunnyside and one in Woodside.

The list, released by Public Advocate Letitia James, reported that the third worst building in Queens—in terms of violations—is located at 43-15 46th Street.

The building, which is a 6-story 88-unit complex, has 271 outstanding violations, according to the report. While the building is a coop, it has several renters—although the exact number is not known.

The original landlord, who took the building coop about 25 years ago, rents several units, according to published reports.

The violations, which have been filed with HPD, deal with water leaks, missing smoke detectors, loose bathroom tiles, mold and defective faucets.

The managing agent of the building is Aras Properties, which is located in Cedarhurst. The head officer is Kevin Kane, who could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, the landlord who runs a Woodside building has the fifth worst record in Queens, with 223 violations.

The building, located at 39-30 59th Street, is a 6-story 78 unit complex.

The violations include complaint about roaches, defective plastered surfaces, broken stoves, mold and missing smoke detectors.

The owner of the building is Harry Silverstein. Silverstein could not be reached for comment.

Click here for the Worst Landlord List

Click here to look up the violations in any building

 43-15 46th Street.

43-15 46th Street.

 

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Application period for Hunters Point South has begun

Hunters Point South building

Oct. 15, By Christian Murray

The application period for the apartments at the Hunters Point South Development in Long Island City went live today.

The application forms can be filled out on line at New York Housing Connect, which requires applicants to provide details such as their income and apartment sought.

Those interested have until December 15 to submit an application.

There are 925 apartments up for grabs, with 186 apartments available to those applicants who fall into the “low income” bracket. To qualify as low income, an applicant seeking a studio cannot make more than $30,000—while a family seeking a 3 bedroom unit must earn less than $50,000 per year.

For those who qualify for the “low income” bracket, the rents would range in price from $494 per month for a studio to as high as $959 for a three bedroom.

However, the limits are significantly higher for the 738 “moderate income” apartments on offer. The maximum income permitted to be eligible for a studio is a little over $130,000, while the maximum household income for a 3 bedroom unit is about $225,000.

The rents for “moderate income” earners will range from $1,561-$1997 for a studio, $1,965-2,509 for a one bedroom, $2,366-$3,300 for a 2 bedroom and $2,729-$4,346 for a three bedroom.

Preference will be given to applicants who live within the Community Board 2 district, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.

affordablerents

affordablehousingmoderate income

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Village Voice declares Salt & Fat Sunnyside’s best restaurant

saltfat-350x263

Oct 15, Staff Report

The Village Voice has just named Salt & Fat as the best restaurant in Sunnyside.

The write up starts as follows:

“Salt & Fat looks like it could be in Brooklyn — reclaimed wood for the storefront sign, artfully arranged small plates that feature New American decadence — but owner Daniel Yi is a local boy. Born in Seoul and raised in Sunnyside, Yi has crafted a nation-hopping menu that reflects the area’s diversity. A meal begins with a complimentary starter — popcorn cooked in bacon fat, as American as can be — and finishes with little bottles of Yakult, a tangy-sweet Japanese yogurt drink.”

For the rest of the Village Voice Article, please click here.

 

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Dumplings & Noodle eatery to open on 46th Street

Noodles

By Christian Murray

A dumplings and noodles eatery will be opening on 46th Street next door to Pio Pio Riko.

The restaurant, which will be located at 45-24 46th Street, is expected to open in late December, according to its owner, who was reluctant to provide too many details at this point.

The eatery will consist of about 30 seats and there will not be table service. The owner described it as “fast casual.”

The menu will consist of soup, baos (steamed buns filled with pork/beef/vegetables), and a wide selection of noodles and dumplings (both steamed and fried). The food will include a mix of Chinese and other Asian flavors. There are also plans to get a liquor license.

The owner has another restaurant—offering the same style of food—in Park Slope.

The business owner was attracted to Sunnyside due to its diverse population.  “I like the mixed neighborhood and there are few [restaurants] like this in the area.”

The restaurant is moving into a portion of the space that was once occupied by Grand 99 Cent Store, which left about 2 years ago. The other portion of the site was leased to  Signature Paint & Home Center, which opened this summer.

Grand 99 Cent Store (2012)

Grand 99 Cent Store (2012)

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Cathy Nolan’s opponent for Assembly a long shot

JohnKwilsonThis November’s election for Assembly District 37 is practically a formality.

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D), who has been in office representing a large portion of Western Queens since 1984, faces a contender who has run against her twice before and was thumped each time.

Nolan has name recognition, the benefit of incumbency, strong party backing and has raised more than $130,000 in campaign funds since 2010 (Friends of Catherine Nolan and Nolan for Assembly). She has moved up the ranks over the years, where she has chaired the Banking as well as Labor committees. She is currently the chair of the Education Committee.

Meanwhile, her challenger John K. Wilson, a Sunnyside barman/actor, has raised $10,000 in campaign funds (Committee to elect John K Wilson) since 2010 and has virtually no name recognition. His best effort against Nolan came in 2010 when he generated 16% of the vote, after he ran a confrontational—and at times—negative campaign (see website).

Wilson said he is running in order to introduce term limits and bring an end to the Queens Democratic machine. “There is too much power in too few hands,” he said.

“Six years in office should be the limit,” Wilson said. “I want to put an end to career politicians.”

“The longer someone is in power the less work they do for the people,” he said. “They take the job for granted and focus on moving up within the party.”

Wilson, who ran as a Republican in his past two campaigns, is running for office as a Libertarian this year. He switched parties, he said, so people would listen to his positions.

“When I ran as a Republican [in 2010 and 2012], people would shut the door in my face and not even listen to my ideas,” he said. “People associate you as Dick Cheney, which is not the case. This time, some people might tell me they are Cathy [Nolan] supporters but at least they will listen to me.”

His platform is based around free market economics. He said businesses are over regulated, over taxed and subject to too much bureaucracy. “New York State is very unfriendly to business and that is why many are leaving to go to other states.”

He cited the battle in Long Island City over the use of back yard space as an example of unnecessary bureaucracy.

“Local restaurants hire people, want to do what is right by the community and are losing revenue,” he said. “These owners don’t want to be bad neighbors,” he said. “It is not in their interest to have loud noise at night. Why not a compromise?”

He said that he opposes the concept of affordable housing, which he views as a “buzzword” to make it appear as though elected officials are “helping the little people.” He said the term “affordable” has never been defined and believes that market forces are the answer.

Wilson, who supports gay marriage and is pro-choice, said that he wants the number of charter schools to be expanded. He said charter schools benefit poor and minority students and many parents want to send their children to these schools since they provide the best chance these children have for success.

He also said that the state needs to cut spending and focus more on reducing taxes.”Lower taxes equal more jobs,” he said.

Most of all, Wilson said that voters need a choice come Election Day (Nov. 4) and said it is disappointing that many legislators are running unopposed.

“Without a choice we enter into Soviet style government,” he said.

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Police Precinct 108 takes to the streets

Hennessy
Oct. 12, By Christian Murray

Captain Brian Hennessy, the commanding officer of the 108 Police Precinct, aims to forge closer ties with the community.

Earlier this month, he started a new initiative called “Community Friday,” where he and a group of officers (many off duty) go to a neighborhood to clean graffiti, pick up garbage and address quality-of-life issues.

While the 108 Precinct has been doing cleanups periodically, Hennessy decided recently to turn it into a formal program.

“I thought I would start this program because it is important that we do things with the community…to show we care,” Hennessy said. “It is the best part of policing.”

On Friday Oct. 3, Hennessy’s team tackled their first job by 43rd Street/Laurel Hill Boulevard—next to the Long Island Expressway.

Hennessy had been told at a meeting hosted by the United 40s Civic Association, a group of about 60 Woodside/Sunnyside residents, that there was a homeless problem by the expressway and that the area was filthy and covered with graffiti.

Hennessy, accompanied by a group of about 15 officers (some auxiliary officers), went to the neighborhood and brought with him a worker from the Department of Homeless Services to help out the homeless. However, on that afternoon, the homeless were not there.

The police, dressed in white overalls, picked up garbage on the sidewalk and grass, and painted over graffiti. The event took place between the 4 pm and 6pm.

On Oct. 10, Hennessy and his crew went to Maspeth to clean up the graffiti down by 70th Street and 48th Avenue and to tackle the persistent problem of abandoned vehicles that the community has brought to his attention.

Since he took command in May 2013, Hennessy has been an active participant in community events. He has organized basketball games between cops and high school students. In summer, he organized volleyball games at Hunters Point South Park down by LIC Landing.

In terms of the new program, Hennessy is hopeful that his crew will get to work with the community throughout the entire Sunnyside/Woodside and Long Island City area. He said he welcomes people’s feedback as to locations where his crew should go.

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Dumplings & Noodle eatery to open on 46th Street
Noodles By Christian Murray A dumplings and noodles eatery will be opening on 46th Street next door to Pio Pio Riko. The restaurant, which will be located at 45-24 46th Street, is expected to open in late December, according to its owner, who was reluctant to provide too many details at this point. The eatery will consist of about 30 seats and there will not be table service. The owner described it as "fast casual." The menu will consist of soup, baos (steamed buns filled with pork/beef/vegetables), and a wide selection of noodles and dumplings (both steamed and fried). The food will include a mix of Chinese and other Asian flavors. There are also plans to get a liquor license. The owner has another restaurant—offering the same style of food—in Park Slope. The business owner was attracted to Sunnyside due to its diverse population.  “I like the mixed neighborhood and there are few [restaurants] like this in the area.” The restaurant is moving into a portion of the space that was once occupied by Grand 99 Cent Store, which left about 2 years ago. The other portion of the site was leased to  Signature Paint & Home Center, which opened this summer.
Grand 99 Cent Store (2012)

Grand 99 Cent Store (2012)

Cathy Nolan’s opponent for Assembly a long shot
JohnKwilsonThis November’s election for Assembly District 37 is practically a formality. Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D), who has been in office representing a large portion of Western Queens since 1984, faces a contender who has run against her twice before and was thumped each time. Nolan has name recognition, the benefit of incumbency, strong party backing and has raised more than $130,000 in campaign funds since 2010 (Friends of Catherine Nolan and Nolan for Assembly). She has moved up the ranks over the years, where she has chaired the Banking as well as Labor committees. She is currently the chair of the Education Committee. Meanwhile, her challenger John K. Wilson, a Sunnyside barman/actor, has raised $10,000 in campaign funds (Committee to elect John K Wilson) since 2010 and has virtually no name recognition. His best effort against Nolan came in 2010 when he generated 16% of the vote, after he ran a confrontational—and at times—negative campaign (see website). Wilson said he is running in order to introduce term limits and bring an end to the Queens Democratic machine. “There is too much power in too few hands,” he said. “Six years in office should be the limit,” Wilson said. “I want to put an end to career politicians.” “The longer someone is in power the less work they do for the people,” he said. “They take the job for granted and focus on moving up within the party.” Wilson, who ran as a Republican in his past two campaigns, is running for office as a Libertarian this year. He switched parties, he said, so people would listen to his positions. “When I ran as a Republican [in 2010 and 2012], people would shut the door in my face and not even listen to my ideas,” he said. “People associate you as Dick Cheney, which is not the case. This time, some people might tell me they are Cathy [Nolan] supporters but at least they will listen to me.” His platform is based around free market economics. He said businesses are over regulated, over taxed and subject to too much bureaucracy. “New York State is very unfriendly to business and that is why many are leaving to go to other states.” He cited the battle in Long Island City over the use of back yard space as an example of unnecessary bureaucracy. “Local restaurants hire people, want to do what is right by the community and are losing revenue,” he said. “These owners don’t want to be bad neighbors,” he said. “It is not in their interest to have loud noise at night. Why not a compromise?” He said that he opposes the concept of affordable housing, which he views as a “buzzword” to make it appear as though elected officials are “helping the little people.” He said the term “affordable” has never been defined and believes that market forces are the answer. Wilson, who supports gay marriage and is pro-choice, said that he wants the number of charter schools to be expanded. He said charter schools benefit poor and minority students and many parents want to send their children to these schools since they provide the best chance these children have for success. He also said that the state needs to cut spending and focus more on reducing taxes."Lower taxes equal more jobs," he said. Most of all, Wilson said that voters need a choice come Election Day (Nov. 4) and said it is disappointing that many legislators are running unopposed. “Without a choice we enter into Soviet style government,” he said.
Police Precinct 108 takes to the streets
Hennessy Oct. 12, By Christian Murray Captain Brian Hennessy, the commanding officer of the 108 Police Precinct, aims to forge closer ties with the community. Earlier this month, he started a new initiative called “Community Friday,” where he and a group of officers (many off duty) go to a neighborhood to clean graffiti, pick up garbage and address quality-of-life issues. While the 108 Precinct has been doing cleanups periodically, Hennessy decided recently to turn it into a formal program. “I thought I would start this program because it is important that we do things with the community…to show we care,” Hennessy said. “It is the best part of policing.” On Friday Oct. 3, Hennessy’s team tackled their first job by 43rd Street/Laurel Hill Boulevard—next to the Long Island Expressway. Hennessy had been told at a meeting hosted by the United 40s Civic Association, a group of about 60 Woodside/Sunnyside residents, that there was a homeless problem by the expressway and that the area was filthy and covered with graffiti. Hennessy, accompanied by a group of about 15 officers (some auxiliary officers), went to the neighborhood and brought with him a worker from the Department of Homeless Services to help out the homeless. However, on that afternoon, the homeless were not there. The police, dressed in white overalls, picked up garbage on the sidewalk and grass, and painted over graffiti. The event took place between the 4 pm and 6pm. On Oct. 10, Hennessy and his crew went to Maspeth to clean up the graffiti down by 70th Street and 48th Avenue and to tackle the persistent problem of abandoned vehicles that the community has brought to his attention. Since he took command in May 2013, Hennessy has been an active participant in community events. He has organized basketball games between cops and high school students. In summer, he organized volleyball games at Hunters Point South Park down by LIC Landing. In terms of the new program, Hennessy is hopeful that his crew will get to work with the community throughout the entire Sunnyside/Woodside and Long Island City area. He said he welcomes people’s feedback as to locations where his crew should go.
Rally to find driver responsible for Woodside Hit-and-Run
Van BramerFATAL Oct. 12, By Christian Murray Less than 48 hours after a hit-and-run incident on Queens Blvd, community leaders held a rally calling on the public for tips to find out who was responsible. The rally was held at the intersection of 60th Street and Queens Blvd at the scene where an unidentified Hispanic man in his 30s was struck by a dark-colored Ford SUV around 1:30 a.m. Thursday while crossing the intersection. The driver fled the scene. The victim was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition and—as of Friday afternoon—had yet to be identified. “To leave someone lying in the street and offer no assistance is an outrage,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “Someone out there has a guilty conscience and should turn themselves in.” “We are calling on anyone who has information on this case to call the authorities,” he said. A large road sign had been placed on the side of Queens Blvd calling on motorists to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS if they had any information on the incident. The rally, however, was also held to remind people that they must stop after a collision. “You have to stop no matter how serious, whether it's a fender bender or someone is lying in the street injured, you must stop. That is the law. And if you don't you will be brought to justice,” Van Bramer said. Van Bramer said that the recently passed Hit-and-Run Victims Act, which he sponsored, will go into effect December 29. With that law, a perpetrator of a hit and run can be fined up to $10,000--on top of any criminal charges imposed by the state. Van Bramer said the new law is about increasing the public’s awareness that this will not be tolerated. “We want to change the culture. When people see the full weight of the law is coming down they might think twice,” he said. Should the incident prove fatal, it would be the first traffic-related death this year in the 108 Police precinct, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City. This time last year, there had been 8 deaths, including five pedestrians. Van Bramer said that the Vision Zero campaign has been a large factor in keeping traffic deaths down, which has included the redesign of dangerous streets to greater enforcement. The 108 Precinct has issued 30% more speeding tickets this year compared to the same period in 2013. The police also doubled the number of drunk drivers arrests, with 112 people arrested so far this year compared to 52 for the same period in 2013.
Brooklyn man arrested in connection to Woodside murder
queenspalace Oct. 10, By Michael Florio A Brooklyn man was arrested Thursday for allegedly killing a man outside a Woodside party hall in July. Jorge Navarro, 20, was arrested in connection to the July 26th death of Eduardo Rojas, who was killed after being struck in the head. The incident occurred outside of Queens Palace, located at 37-27 57th Street, when a fight broke out. In the melee gun shots were also fired. The 108 precinct responded to a 911 call just after 1 am and discovered a 25-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his left leg and back, as well Rojas, who was dead. Navarro is facing charges of murder, manslaughter and gang assault. He has not been charged for the shooting.
Another hit-and-run in Woodside leaves man in critical condition
ambulance Oct. 9, By Michael Florio Another pedestrian has fallen victim to a hit-and-run in Woodside. A 20-to-30 year old male was struck in the early hours today while crossing the intersection at Queens Blvd and 60th Street. A dark colored SUV was traveling westbound along Queens Blvd when it struck the victim at about 1:30 am, according to an NYPD spokesperson. The vehicle did not stop and continued westbound toward the Queensboro Bridge. Upon arrival, officers discovered the victim to be unconscious. He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition. The investigation is ongoing.
Sunnyside Gardens planned community turns 90
SGbefore Oct. 9, By Christian Murray Sunnyside Gardens, the planned community designed by Clarence Stein and Henry Wright, is celebrating its 90th anniversary this month. To mark the occasion, the Greater Astoria Historical Society will be presenting “Sunnyside Gardens at 90,” which will feature a series of photographs of the gardens over the decades as well a presentation by local historian Jeffrey Kroessler and architect Laura Heim. The presentation, which will take place tonight at 7pm at 35-20 Broadway in Astoria, will discuss the origins and significance of the community, including its importance in urban planning, design, and history, and the contentious campaign to gain designation as a historic district. (Click for details) Sunnyside Gardens was initially constructed between 1924 and 1928, and consisted of a series of twelve “courts”. The designated area went on to include the Phipps Garden Apartment buildings, which were constructed in the early 1930s. To celebrate the anniversary, the Sunnyside Gardens Preservation Alliance will be holding an event marking the occasion on Saturday, Oct. 25, with the unveiling of three historic district signs followed by a reception. The event will kick off at 1 pm at Skillman Avenue and 46th Street. (Click for details) According to the Preservation Alliance's website, the City Housing Corporation organized a “grand opening” for the first group of houses that were developed in Oct 1924. Advocates for affordable housing and New York City officials joined in to applaud the start of a new kind of neighborhood at the time. The very first Sunnyside Gardens owners moved in at the beginning of September 1924, according to the website, with the first house sold located at 41-49 47th (Carolin) Street. House prices ranged from $8500 to $13,500. SGNow sgplay    
Van Bramer differs with Community Board Chair over the development of Sunnyside Yards
Sunnyside_Yard_East_jehOct. 8, By Christian Murray Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said today that he is firmly opposed to building over the Sunnyside Yards. Van Bramer made the statement in response to Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley’s call last Thursday for a study to determine whether it would be feasible to build over a section of the yards, which consists of acres of land covered by railroad tracks. Conley said at the monthly Community Board 2 meeting that the Sunnyside Yards could be used to build more affordable housing. “We should look at it with the possibility of creating a community…with affordable housing, market rate housing and retail,” Conley said. Conley called on the board to give him permission to send a letter to the Queens Borough President’s office requesting a study of the area. The board complied. The letter, however, alarmed several people who fear over development—with some claiming that the infrastructure is overstretched as it is. Van Bramer said the community is not calling for the development of the Sunnyside Yards. He said people are more concerned about school overcrowding, transportation issues and other problems that actually stem from development. “My office is in the business of receiving hundreds of letters and speaking to people about important issues all the time,” Van Bramer said. “Not one person has come to me and said ‘you should deck over the Sunnyside Yards and build housing.” Several Community Board 2 members said after last Thursday’s meeting that they were caught by surprise by Conley’s request. “I’m opposed to the concept of decking [building] over the Sunnyside Yards,” Van Bramer said. “The idea gets floated whenever there is an economic boom…but I think it would be bad for the surrounding community.” Van Bramer, as councilman, has a big role to play in terms of land use decisions such as these. All significant zoning changes go through the city council and it is typically the elected official in a given district that makes the call. Van Bramer was unsure how the idea surfaced in the first place.
Van Bramer

Van Bramer

Conley said that the Sunnyside Yards—which go through Long Island City and Sunnyside--are owned by government agencies. Therefore, this provides the community with an opportunity to negotiate with developers as to the number of affordable units that could be built. “Jackson Avenue and 21st Street would be our jumping off point,” Conley said, adding that the study would then look toward Thomson Avenue and Queens Plaza. Van Bramer said that he too is in favor of affordable housing. However, he said, “Density is appropriate in some places and not others. I, for one, believe Sunnyside and Astoria are great low-density neighborhoods that should remain so.” Conley told the Daily News Tuesday that the Sunnyside Yards also divide the neighborhoods and indicated that the housing would draw them closer. “Right now you have this scar that runs down the community,” he told the News. Van Bramer disagreed with this view. “I wouldn’t characterize these neighborhoods as having a scar running through them…and I don’t believe the neighborhoods are unreachable.”    
Police seek help in locating serial bank robber, suspect allegedly hit Chase bank in Sunnyside in July
Oct. 8, By Christian Murray suspect Call him the 21st Century version of Willie Sutton or John Dillinger. The police are searching for a man who has robbed eight Queens banks—and attempted to rob two others—in the past 2 1/2 years. The banks have been scattered throughout the borough—covering Jackson Heights, Middle Village, Long Island City, Astoria, Flushing, East Elmhurst and Sunnyside. In total, the suspect has taken in about $50,000. One of the robberies occurred at the Chase Bank branch at 47-11 Queens Blvd, where the suspect approached a teller and passed her a note—before fleeing with $5,900 in cash. That incident occurred on July 25, 2014 (see story). The suspect’s modus operandi has been to enter a bank, pass a note and—on four occasions—display a firmarm. He also tends to hold a mobile phone up against his ear. No injuries have resulted from his spree. The suspect (see photo) is believed to be between 30 and 35 years old, approximately 6-feet-tall and weighing about 200 pounds. Police said he was last seen wearing a New York Yankees baseball hat and a button-down short sleeve shirt. He also had a light beard connected to a goatee, tinted eye glasses and a black wrist watch on his left wrist. The first incident occurred on July 17, 2012, when he allegedly entered into an Amalgamated Bank at 78-01 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights and took off with $1,450.suspect1 The latest robbery occurred Saturday, when the suspected entered Chase Bank at 69-55 Grand Avenue, passed a note and left with $5,170. Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
Oktoberfest comes to Skillman Avenue this Saturday
claret1Oct. 7, By Christian Murray It’s time to get out the lederhosen and the Bavarian hats. The Skillman Project, a group of bars and restaurants located on Skillman Avenue, is hosting its 3rd annual Oktoberfest this Saturday. There are eight bars/restaurants participating in the event—and attendees will be offered $3 beers until late. The event will start at 3pm and go until close. Several of the bars/restaurants will be serving German-themed food—with items such as Bratwurst and pretzels on offer. The Skillman Project has also hired a brass band that will be playing polka music at all the participating venues. The band will start at 6:30 at Claret Wine Bar and will then perform at the other bars/restaurants. “Oktoberfest is typically the most popular event that the Skillman Project puts on each year,” said Justin Costello, the manager at Claret. “It tends to bring in the largest crowd.” The Skillman Project also puts on an annual Mardi Gras and a summer event. To partake in Saturday’s Oktoberfest, attendees are required to register at Claret (46-02 Skillman) between 3 pm and 5 pm, and buy a $5 wristband. The wristband is needed in order to get the $3 beers at all eight restaurants/bars. The $5 proceeds will be donated to the local food pantry. Participating bars are: Dog and the Duck, Claret Wine Bar, Flynn’s Garden Inn, Quaint Bistro, Murphy’s Lobster Grill, The Globe, Aubergine Cafe and The Copper Kettle. Skillman_OktoberFest2014_Final  
Famous singer/songwriter a frequent performer at Sunnyside venue
JD @ teapot 6-22-2013Oct. 6, By Kim Brown Jim Dawson has sold out shows at the Bitter End, been signed by RCA Records and written a song recorded by Sesame Street’s Elmo. This Thursday he’s playing at The Globe Tavern’s Open Mic night on Skillman Avenue. “It really ups the quality of the night,” said host and guitarist Trevor Bowen. “He’s a pro, it’s the most wonderful feeling of support.” Dawson, who has been compared to James Taylor and Harry Chapin, was also touted as the next Bob Dylan after “Songman” was released in 1971. He is still a regular at venues like the Cutting Room. Newer fans know him because Elmo sang his “Simple Song” and older fans remember when he played Constitution Hall in Washington with The Birds. But when he comes to The Globe about once a month he’s just Jim, competing against baseball games and loud conversations like any other musician. There is no cover charge and he buys his own beer. “One of the reasons I love it is Trevor says ‘Here’s Jim’,” said Dawson, who lives in Manhattan and is Bowen’s vocal coach. “It doesn’t matter if I sold 200,000 records or zero. We’re all the same. We all got into this in the first place because it’s fun.” Dawson came to New York City in the late 1960s, after a stint in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Because he was signed by a record company pretty quickly, playing the open mic circuit was not something he had done very often. Despite distractions the last time he played The Globe--like an overturned tray of garlic knots and Derek Jeter’s last home at bat on TV—-he somehow managed to quiet a pretty raucous room. “When I’m doing it and I’m getting it right those are the most alive situations. I feel like I’m 18 or 19 years old again,” he said. Dawson, who lives on the Upper West Side, has released 15 CDs and albums. He is also known for writing the opening theme for a popular German soap opera. Money from that song allowed him to set up a home recording studio. The 1999 CD of his own live sessions in his apartment, “Therapy in Session: The Studio Concerts,” gained attention as an innovative way for musicians to release their work independently. Dawson’s website still attracts about 2,000 visitors a month from all over the world. Maybe he is able to arrest a noisy bar so well because he has been playing for nearly 50 years. Or maybe it’s because he tends to write Americana songs with lyrics that seem to have sprung from our own hopes and worries or that the gift to connect with the audience is just that, a gift. Whatever the reason, the audience quiets and connects with Dawson when he is behind the mic. “I want people to hear the words and I want them to hear what I have to say,” Dawson said. “But it is a bar for crissake.” Yet The Globe’s open mic is not all about Dawson, or even all about music. Poets, magicians, comedians and actors are welcome as well. “Pretty much anyone can show up, grab a beer and sign up,” said co-owner Rena Hershberger, who sings and performs at open mic night herself. “Everyone gets their 10 minutes.” Yet Bowen admits his ultimate goal is beyond that. He’d like the bar and the neighborhood to become a destination for original, quality music and he already sees that happening. “There have been really surprising musicians who have come and blown the socks off people,” he said. Ben Hope, who played the lead in the Broadway musical Once, and renowned Jazz guitarist Tosh Sheridan are both Globe regulars. Dawson is only adding to that momentum. “If people think ‘this guy Jim is going to show up’ and that will bring in two more people,” Dawson said, “that’s what I think is important. I’m just trying to be one of the guys on the team.” Open Mic Night at The Globe Tavern, located at 49-10 Skillman Avenue, will be held this Thursday and every other week.

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