Police raid Sunnyside Gardens house–find firearms, marijuana plants and crack

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61 Responses to Police raid Sunnyside Gardens house–find firearms, marijuana plants and crack

  1. 6ft Peanut Butter Elvis

    cool, glad to see there's still some badazz left in Queens. This guy ain't no monocle wearing script writin' hipsta! no, no... this mans.... this mans my new idol. *sniff*

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  2. shlomo von springsteen

    i hope that was how this guys coffee table was set up. thats how id do it, weapons on the left, cash fanned out on the right edge. Yeah man

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  3. Dave

    rising crime.
    the 108th doing nothing about it.
    can you blame a guy for going all charlie bronson?

    this dude is easily one of the cooler residents of the 11104.

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  4. Anonymous

    What kind of people do we allow in this neighborhood these days?! I am stunned by what I have read and the new people here, in my opinion, are what led Sunnyside, Queens to be disovered to the public, thus leading criminals and bad people to come and cause havoc.

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  5. JOR

    That's a lot of firepower. I wonder which war this guy was getting to fight?

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  6. Tawn Shornton

    North side goes ghetto.

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  7. Sunnysider

    Hey can you blame a guy for having a bunch a weapons. Especially that there have been numerous break ins. The 108 doesn't do anything only catering to LIC and harassing young kids smoking pot and loitering in front of their own stoops.

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  8. Legal

    I see a lot of dumb bells in this area think this guy is cool. So, there is part of the problem. Glad they got this tool out of our area.

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  9. skooh

    There is NOTHING gangster about Sunnyside...NOTHING! A lot of nosey a$$es and fake wannabe thugs.

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  10. Greg ritzgherold

    What do you expect it Is sunnyside gardens, the "housing for the poor" all of the people left there can not afford the taxes anymore so they turn to drugs, thank god for the yuppies cleaning up sunnyside

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  11. Crane

    Check out the comments above and you can easily see what Sunnyside has turned into. Either all sensible people just stopped posting, or not much of them left.
    I am glad he was caught, sadly he won't do a lot of time that's for sure, unless they can tie him to some terrorists. He will be back selling dope on the same corner soon.

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  12. Me

    Wow! I would've never guessed. But this is still a good neighborhood. I'm proud of being from here. Let's all do our part and keep it safe and clean. Regarding the latter, how hard is it to pick up after you dog? Please have some consideration. It brings down the quality of living. You don't want to live in a dirty neighborhood, do you?

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  13. Me

    Wow! I would've never guessed. But this is still a good neighborhood. I'm proud of being from here. Let's all do our part and keep it safe and clean. Regarding the latter, how hard is it to pick up after your dog? Please have some consideration. It brings down the quality of living. You don't want to live in a dirty neighborhood, do you?

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  14. Paul Maringelli

    These comments are "Nuts" - Daniel Tone had a huge stash of weapons and lots of hard drugs and people are writing that he's a "hero" - or that he has it to defend himself from the break-ins. Then one dope complains that "nothing's gangster about Sunnyside" What, is he crazy? Does he want street gangs here? Doesn't he know that the Italian "Mafia," Irish "Westies," Turkish "Grey Wolves," and Albanian "Shqiptare" keep most of the street thugs out of Sunnyside.

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  15. Sunnysideposthatesme14

    I have been saying for quite some time how shitty Sunnyside is. I became vocal when the powers that be attempted to change this shitty neighborhood into some new and trendy place to live. I became even more vocal when idiot hipsters actually listened and paid the ridiculous high rents to live here. Now what do you have?

    A bunch of pretentious idiots who are only in Sunnyside to raise the value of their property, crime is up, It's impossible to take the 7 train in the morning , Schools are over crowded and a ton of stores have closed up shop.

    Now what to the north side ignants have to say? the ones desperately trying to live in their own little oasis, refusing to see what they have helped create...

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  16. Jessica

    I have to agree "there's nothing gangsta about Sunnyside" these punks running around screwing with our neighborhood would be eaten as a snack if you throw them in the Bronx or parts of Brooklyn! I'm glad he's caught! Time to clean the neighborhood back up!

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  17. BornNbredHere

    I love the comments that the police in the 108 don't do enough... "we don't see them patroling" let's go back to a year ago when the city was up in arms about stop, question and frisk. Now, cops are being hands off (bc the city asked them too) and shockingly crime has risen. What exactly do you want here people? Hands on or hands off?

    Also, where do you think these guys got their Intel on this Tone savage? Maybe arresting some kids smoking weed or people loitering on their stoops... you'd be surprised the beans people will spill when they get arrested, especially for low level nonsense.

    I'm glad this guy was caught. It was heads up Intel and solid police work. Get this ghettoness out of our community.

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  18. Pete

    "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."

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  19. Adam Elend

    7 marijuana plants, 17 grams of coke and 48 pills do not make one a drug dealer. The idiots who are "glad this guy's off the streets" are as off base as those who think he's a badass. Sure, maybe there's some vast conspiracy we don't know about, but the information in this article shows a dude with a fake AK 47 who IS going to go to jail because he made some really bad firearms choices in a city that absolutely prohibits them.

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  20. TBoneNYC

    It's exhilarating to see that our overpriced Business Improvement District is attracting new entrepreneurs.

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  21. Al

    WTF??? Anyone know this guy? What kind of name is Tone? Thought that was just a knob on my stereo.

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  22. JaneGrissom

    I am glad this guy was caught and I hope they catch more like him. Was he a renter or did he own the property? I wonder what his "credit report" showed. I am also glad when they catch the spoiled brat pot smokers. They area doing more than pot. Note: the guy was selling X also.

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  23. Craic Dealer

    Was it THIS guy?: http://www.linkedin.com/in/danieltone

    Too bad this guy was an entrepreneur and the laws are the problem. The people that should be arrested are the politicians and pharmaceutical co.'s who make money off the international drug trade.

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  24. Andrew

    He's no hero and anyone who praises him should be ashamed. He's a drug dealer and I'm glad he got caught. Sure 2 firearms were fake, but majority of them were real loaded guns. I too wonder if he rented or actually owned that house.

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  25. Angray

    JG - He is the owner of that house since 2007.

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  26. Sunnyside

    The comments by some here are completely riduculous, I assume they are mostly the wanna be little fake gangster kids smoking pot in the playgrounds at night. For the most part Sunnyside is a good neighborhood and the Gardens are generally ok. Yes, there are robberies but that is true of anywhere in NYC. The real residents don't WANT it to be gangster you dopes!!

    As for those complaining about rents, what did you expect from a neighborhood so clse to Manhattan?? LIC and Astoria are doing the same so why did you think Sunnyside would be different? if you can't afford it, live somewhwere you can afford.

    As for this guy, from what I know he was a property owner, not a renter. Definitely a shady dude and from what I understand the locals have known he is up to no good for a long time and has shady people in and out at all hours. he keeps all his windows completely sealed so you can't see in and has cameras all over the place. Glad to see something finally got done about him, it's been too long. Hopefully the house is foreclosed and sold to a law abiding citizen.

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  27. South Side Johnny

    "the spoiled brat pot smokers?" Wonder what that means.

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  28. Sunnyside

    As for the 7 train comment, I couldn't agree more. The 7 train is a complete disaster in the morning at the local stops in Sunnyside. It's gotten where you can't get on due to over crowding so you have to go backwards to 74th St and get the E or F train to manhattan. That can easily add 30 to 60 minutes onto a commute. Here's a easy solution... make 33rd St a local and Express stop rather than just a local stop. All the Aviation High School kids depart the train here and are the ones who crowd the doors so the people gettign on in Sunnyside get screwed. These kids generally board the local train at Express stops further east in Queens. So make 33rd an express stop also and that could alleviate the overcrowding on local trains.

    What is our local gov't official Jimmy Van Bramer doing about it? Nothing that I can see. May be time to get some new blood in the office that will actually make some things better rather than pursuing pet projects.

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  29. Dawn O'Day

    Thank God the man is in jail. I hope he stays there for a long time and moves far away when he gets out.

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  30. Craic Dealer

    When people OD on prescription drugs its a tragedy and nothing happens. But people get busted for weed. Doctors ARE drug dealers. They're LEGAL drug dealers. In the end Dan Tone was snuffed out of the competition.

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  31. Sunnyside Life

    This comment is for Sunnysider.

    I've lived in this neighborhood for over 50 years now. I've seen politicans come and go. Since Van Bramer came in to town he has been the only one that has proactively done anything to fix the 7 train issues. That guy Goia kept his mouth shut and was no where to be found back in the day. Other politicians, I don't want to name any names (Nolan, Gianaris and Congressman Crowley), but they do the same and are only around during an election year. Get this, it is an election year now for them and they still ain't doing jack to get the MTA to do right by us. In my book, and all my neighbors feel the same way, Jimmy Van Bramer is the real deal. This community has come a long way in the last several years and Van Bramer has been one of the main reasons for all the good that is happening.

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  32. Sunnyside Gardens Neighbor

    @ Sunnyside Life. This post is not about Jimmy Van Bramer, but about what we can do to keep thugs out of our neighborhood and out of NYC in general for that matter. Jimmy has done some good things, but he still needs to step up to the plate. Also do you really think City Council can do anything about the MTA? Really? When they call meetings it's just to pull your chain and make you think they are doing something. The MTA's capital projects are costing billions of dollars and will get done. Jimmy knows this and knows he can't do anything, but he wants your vote so he makes you believe he is on it. The Steinway tunnel and 7 train was a mess before the improvements.

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  33. Concern X-Sunnysider

    Nobody has comment that this man's house is a block away from parks and schools. That famillies are surrounded by this Bull.

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  34. Native NYer

    A few pot plants aren't really the issue, the weapons are serious stuff, especially in NYC. He should be put away for a long time for that stuff. Per blockshooper, he's been the owner of that house since 2007.

    To Craicdealer: I think he is the guy posted in the linked in profile.

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  35. anonymous

    @ Sunnyside
    The 7 line only has 3 tracks - 33 St has only 1 platform for each direction - if an express train gets on a local track after Woodside it will be stuck behind all local trains, it may as well open the doors as it passes the other stops. there is nowhere for an express train to stop @ 33 St.

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  36. JaneGrissom

    I recall a couple of fearless people stating that there was more than pot smoking going on in the Gardens: note the use of X. Can I say, "I told you so?"

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  37. Concerned Neighbor

    Are there any neighbors on here who know this guy or the story behind this? Scary stuff.

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  38. pagan

    i think this is the street where the most beautiful girls of NY live. i also remember seeing a couple of white rabbits around and some good music coming from the garden houses. cool neighbourhood.

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  39. white rabbit

    it's the first day of spring, where is my pagan?

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  40. pathetic sheep

    guns kill, prescription drugs kill, crack kills, leave da weed alone, mon!

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  41. pagan

    there are perverts everywhere. like white rabbit loving pagans.

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  42. Anonymous

    @Craic You're an idiot.

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  43. Dawn O'Day

    What is this stuff about "white rabbit?"

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  44. white rabbit

    pagan i can't think of anything but you today it's spring.

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  45. Robert

    We can finally get our "street cred" back from the 90's

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  46. Sunnyside is Blooming

    Hey enough negativity. Guns and drugs are bad. Flowers and trees are good. My organization has several events planned this year to help make this a nicer place to live unlike the guy with the guns. Check out sunnysideisblooming.com.

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  47. Tequilla Mockingbird

    A long term Sunnyside caucasian resident and property owner in his 40s hiding guns and drugs in his landmarked Sunnyside Gardens home.
    It is serious stuff indeed.

    Are we sure he is not a minority youth living on the south side or a transient gay hipster?

    Because that is who a lot of reactionary bigots here tend to blame all the time for whatever happens in our neighborhood.

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  48. Headstoned

    Where am I gonna get my weed now?

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  49. tent city

    Looks like they found him because he violated an order of protection dating back to Aug 2012 - either that or they got him on the weapons/drugs and discovered some old outstanding warrants?

    PL 240.26 01 Violation, 1 count, Not an arrest charge, Arraignment charge
    Description Harassment 2nd- Phy Contact

    PL 215.51 0B
    **TOP CHARGE** E Felony, 1 count, Arrest charge, Arraignment charge
    Description Crim Cont-1st:order/protection

    PL 121.11 0A A Misdemeanor, 1 count, Not an arrest charge, Arr

    Clearly, he has only been arrested, not convicted. So he'll probably be back in the neighborhood soon until his case makes its way through the system. Innocent until proven guilty.

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  50. South

    @JaneGrissom

    The internet can confirm that:

    "X" as a term used for Ecstasy or MDMA

    and

    Xanax/Alprazolam is a prescription medicine to treat anxiety.

    If you're going to be a know-it-all, know it all.

    --

    I'm very glad all of these illegally possessed guns are out of the wrong hands.

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  51. ca$h munnee

    last i read the bill of rights, it is your right to bear arms. give this man back what is rightfully his. this is America isnt it?

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  52. Klunker

    Why Daddy, why lose my toys!

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  53. noname

    @cash munnee You are right but in NYC guns are illegal.

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  54. Sunnyside

    @ Anonymous

    I know there are only 3 tracks for the 7, i was suggesting having the express trains be able to cross over to the local track after 40th st so they can stop at 33rd St. They do it 1 stop up anyway to get into Queens Plaza. Just back it up a little and have them do it at 33rd St.

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  55. Sunnyside

    @ Sunnyside Life

    If Van Bramer has done things proactively to fix the 7 train issues I am not aware... and he is doing a poor job because in the 18 years i have lived in Sunnyside it's never been as bad as it has been in the last couple of years. Perhaps this is due to the extension to the west side project but I doubt it, since the train seems fine at other times of day, only the AM rush hour towards Manhattan is really bad.

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  56. Luvu2

    Police do not come in full force because somebody violated an order of protection probably a user snitched on him

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  57. Ustura

    They should do a skip stop alternating between two trains.

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  58. NewYorkCynic

    @Cash Munnee

    Fine, I'll grant you the guns (regardless of NYC laws). Pretty sure crack isn't constitutionally protected.

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  59. TheBiggerPicture

    Notice the bandoleer with shotgun shells. Where is the shot gun?

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  60. Concerned Hipster

    I used to live in Bed-Stuy and I moved here because I heard the drugs were cheaper. WHERE AM I GOING TO GET ALL MY DRUGS FROM??!!! WHERE?? SOMEONE HELP. ALSO ANYONE THINK THAT BLISS ST. STATION SHOULD RUN KARAOKE 7 NIGHTS A WEEK??? I like to sing Billy Joel songs ironically when I'm high. ALSO WHERE IS THE NEAREST TRILBY HAT STORE???

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  61. A.Bundy

    that military rifle is an imitation? it even has a silencer on it! looks like this guy was going to war!

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

BIDfrontcover

Nov. 23, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details:

Event: Small Business Saturday kickoff

Date: Nov. 29

Time: 12 pm – 1pm

Czarrina Andres

Czarrinna Andres

Wespaw Pets

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

Luke Adams (middle)

Nov. 21, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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New commanding officer appointed to 108 precinct
Captain John Trav

Captain John Travaglia

Nov. 20, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

fire51st Street

Nov. 20, By Michael Florio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The FDNY is still investigating what caused the fire.

fire51st Street1

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

Suspect

Nov. 19, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

For previous coverage, click here

Previous photo of suspect

Previous photo of a suspect

 

Previous photo

Previous photo of a suspect

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

Flavor

Nov. 18, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Med

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

James Abram with Hercules

Nov. 17, By Christian Murray

Hercules, Daffodil and Robin all found homes Sunday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

adoption1

 

Couple adopts Dafodil

Couple adopts Daffodil

Robin the cat

Robin the cat

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

Alexio Gessa (Photo: Peter Wing)

Nov. 17, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jimmy Van Bramer (source: Peter Wing)

Jimmy Van Bramer (Photo:Peter Wing)

Source Peter Wing

(Photo: Peter Wing)

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

Van BramerFATAL

By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

James Abram with Hercules

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

Couple adopts Daffodil

Robin the cat

Robin the cat

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

Alexio Gessa (Photo: Peter Wing)

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

Jimmy Van Bramer (Photo:Peter Wing)

Source Peter Wing

(Photo: Peter Wing)

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

Suspect

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

Source: Pat Dorfman

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

Robin Kawada

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

Crime Numbers 2014

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

Poster of Suspects in robbery

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

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

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

Queens DOT Commissioner Dalila Hall

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

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

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