Murphy’s receives creepy letters and phone calls after hoisting gay pride flag

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66 Responses to Murphy’s receives creepy letters and phone calls after hoisting gay pride flag

  1. Sunnysider

    I think all bars and resteraunts who welcome gay people into their establishment should wave the gay pride flag. That way it will take the pressure off one establishment and see if these idiots who are sending Murphy's mail wil waste their time sending mail to everyone else. Obviously they must be very lonely sad people to have nothing better to do with their time. Also if I was the owner of Murphy's I would get the authorities involved. They gave someone else's phone number which is such a cowardly thing to do. Investigators should speak to the person whose number that s and maybe they can shine a light on who the person s that is doing this.

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  2. lucy

    this is beyond.... for what I know this is year 2014, I wonder if that is the same people after the other anti-gay incidents in sunnyside..... pfff and people think its a safe neighborhood

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  3. Carly

    That is legit scary.
    But good on Murphy's for not backing down and removing the flag, I'll need to pick up a beer or three sometime this week.

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  4. Tequilla Mockingbird

    Very creepy.
    Good on Mike Murphy not to back down in the face of bigoted, intolerant threats.
    Sunnyside is a diverse neighborhood and that's a reflection of the whole country.
    I don't understand why people would be so obsessed and bothered by other people's sexuality if they were secured in their own.

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  5. South

    Good for Mike/Murphy's for keeping the flag up.

    How embarrassing that someone would waste their time scribbling creepy notes to a community loving establishment like Murphy's. I do appreciate "Amanda's" use of "breaking" in reference to "her" virginity - so we can assume the suspect is a young, insecure male with a lot of time on his hands.

    I'm with @Carly,

    If anything, this reminds me to head to Murphy's for a drink.

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  6. Celtic Bark

    This person clearly has some serious mental issues, although I'm not sure what they are.

    I applaud Murphy for not automatically waving the hate card around on this or using it to smear anyone who might have voiced any reservations about the parade by putting them in the same category as this disturbed person.

    That said, I do think he should alert the police, not that they'll even bother to take a report, but hey.

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  7. Marilyn

    Please alert the authorities. Now that it is on this website the person has a platform and it could get worse.

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  8. BlissStreetMike

    Looks like I'll be heading to Murphy's for a drink or two, its always good to support a business who stands strong!

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  9. BuffaloTom

    Agree whole-heartedly with BlissStreetMike.

    To all those knocking the neighborhood - this type of ignorance happens everywhere. It's still a great neighborhood, and we shouldn't let the lame actions of a few reflect the opinions and values of the majority.

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  10. Native NYer

    Mr. Murphy, if you are reading this, please report this to the police. This person sounds like a nut.

    I'll be heading over to Murphy's for a soda.

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  11. Yvonne

    Next time when we are in the city,I will be taking my family to Murphy's.Happy your not backing down.

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  12. Sunnysideposthatesme14

    You can't fake crazy, that right there is NUTS. hell i'd feel safer with someone straight up yelling some ol fashioned ignorant gay hate but that stuff right there is Buffalo bob , put the lotion on the skin stuff.

    walk in pairs..and arm yourself .

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  13. Anonymous

    I bet I know who this is! There is a crazy old man named Anthony who has done this to other establishments in the neighborhood. He uses different names numbers and addresses, but it's always him!

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  14. Sophia

    How sad that Sunnyside has become a battleground, but at least we are on the right side of this civil rights struggle. More power to you Murphy! I'll be in for a drink this week to toast you.

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  15. Sunnysid-ster

    He could be staging this for free publicity!!

    Mr Murphy - If you have a problem... if no one else can help... and if you can find them... maybe you can hire... The A-Team ....POW..POW..POW...
    those guys will sort it out!!

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  16. atom

    They're here, they're queer...get bored of it.

    How so many people burn so many calories working on intimidating, discriminating and fighting people over something as unimportant as what they do with their genitals in their private life is flabbergasting to me. Hate the gay pride flag? Then stop working on creating a world in which it's necessary to bodly show support for homosexuals! It's in your face because YOU put it there by claiming someone's private business is a public matter!

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  17. Casey

    I would like to thank Murphy's for doing this. I almost made the mistake of going there.

    The flag makes a great warning for Christians, let's hope other gay establishments follow his lead.

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  18. Patrick Hurley

    Rainbow flag aside. Imposing anything on the Stars and Stripes, is a descretation of the U.S. flag. It's one thing to fly the Rainbow flag but it is quite another to desecrate the U.S. flag. Look at the picture!

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  19. Sunnyside Kreegs

    @Casey - Pretty sure Christians preach tolerance and compassion. The flag shows support for a people. It's not a warning of some Sodom and Gomorrah bar for people to avoid. Christianity has become so misguided. It's really sad.

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  20. Krissi

    That's bizarre.

    Good on Murphy's though!

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  21. SC

    I agree with Atom, The last time i checked the gay flag was not in line with the rest of the flags around the world, don't be a target , don;t make yourself one, and i can't believe you would encourage other businesses to do the same, to prove what exactly. when you enter any establishment do you ave to pull out your gay card for admission. ridiculous, Murphy' s do you. and leave it at that,

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  22. pathetic sheep

    I'd start the inquiry, as to the nut sending this crap, in the building that hangs all the homophobic signs on Skillman Ave during the parade. 2nd place I'd look would be the small crew of nut jobs holding up similar signs along the parade route. They are all rather long in the tooth and pushing the envelope as it is, so hurry before they check out.

    PS

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  23. Ari Fink

    The pride flag is a desperate attempt to invite customers. .The place is empty nightly..I think a white flag would be more appropriate! !!

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  24. JaneGrissom

    Pathetic sheep you are very "tolerant" in addition to being an ageist and a sexist.

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  25. Plain Spoken

    Jesus would hang at Murphys. Americans might not after seeing the Stars and Stripes altered as Mr. Hurley points out. I didn't see it until he urged me to "look at the picture!"

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  26. Luvu2

    Much ado about very little were there real threats? If not move on

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  27. Patrick Hurley

    I always enjoyed Murphy's. Nice homely atmosphere. No blaring jukebox so easy to have a conversation over a few drinks. Good music provided by Donie Carroll and other troubadors.

    However, I find the desecration of the Stars n' Stripes to be very offensive. That flag represents all Americans, Gay, straight, black, white, GOP, Democrat etc.. Americans died so that we would have the right to display it. It is above partisanship. Mr. Murphy also equates the Rainbow with the Stars and Stripes and the Irish Tricolor. The latter two are the flags of countries, while the Rainbow is the standard of a partisan agenda.

    I doubt if it's a good idea to mix business with politics. Mr. Murphy has a First Amendment right to fly what ever standard he wants, but decisions have consequences, positive or negative. Taking a stand on an issue - no matter what it is - will antagonize some element, either pro or anti. Perhaps flying the Rainbow on the day of the event was a canny business decision but long term it is a no win.

    Personally, I have no problem with Murphy flying the Rainbow. It is the desecration of the Stars n' Stripes that is offensive.

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  28. Luvu2

    Well written pat and if this is a bar for all why fly the gay pride flag?

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  29. Eilish

    So sex is more important than all else

    As is the LGBT bullying

    No one is preventing LGBT folks from taking part in st Patricks day events
    Some do limit the effort to force the POLITICAL agenda during what is both a CULTURAL EVENT and a religious day.

    Putting that flag up as if as meaningful as NATIONAL flags is a sign of pure ignorance

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  30. Aaron

    Murphy's is a great spot! Outstanding food and great atmosphere. The design inside is simply incredible. I was very disappointed to read about the "creepy mail" Mr Mike had received. Some people have too much time on their hands.

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  31. WHERES THE BRANDYWELL

    Not for nothing but from reading the comments it looks like theres a lot of folks heading to murphys for a drink . Rainbow flag , hate mail , phone calls , sounds like a great marketing ploy to me , if it were not reported on here would all the folks who made comments be heading over there , doubt it .
    never been to murphys but I sure remember the brandywell at 5am on a sunday back in the day .!!!!!!

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  32. PJE056

    Mr. Patrick Hurley has it perfectly right. Although Mike Murphy has the right to fly any flag he likes without any form of harassment, disrespecting and desecrating our American flag is wrong and is imposing on my beliefs and rights. I would never deface your flags why must you do that to the only flag that represents all our freedoms and rights? That is just as disgusting and shameful as any of the discrimination you all are bitching about.

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  33. Sunnysider

    I think mike Murphy should have given more thought to hanging our most important flag than he gave to hanging the "other" flag.

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  34. Oil. Beef, Hooked

    How many countless millions of people in history have been killed over silly flags? Maybe it's time to stop marching behind them, whatever they are.

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  35. More Champagne for Lulu

    Still some discrimination going around in some hypocrite comments.

    The values of this country and what the flag ultimately stands for, is

    "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

    You can't cherry pick who gets more rights than others based on you religious views and disguise that as patriotism.

    Spend more time thinking about what the flag really represents and less time thinking about the cloth itself.

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  36. Micky

    A sad pathetic stunt,you should be ashamed of yourself Micheal.

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  37. radbaha

    Patrick Hurley is a notorious, longtime anti-gay hater and GOP apologist.

    I find his use of the term 'desecration' deeply offensive. How dare he suggest that gay people are unworthy of God's love?

    There's room in Sunnyside for everyone. What this New York Post reading maroon doesn't understand is that he's the desecration, not the locals.

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  38. pathetic sheep

    JaneGrissom, I am just staing facts. 1. The people holding the signs ARE very old. 2. The signs they hold up equating homosexuality with kiddie porn/rape shows them to be crazy. There is nothing 'sexist' about that post. Maybe you can do your part for the community and round them up, educate them on tolerance, bringing them forward to the 21st Century.

    PS

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  39. Artsy Fartsy

    It wasn't a very bright idea to mash up the American flag and the rainbow one.

    So the rainbow flag is supposed to mean that gay people are welcome at Murphy's. Ok.

    So, what about any other groups? Shouldn't there now be a Star of David flag flying over the bar so that Jews can be assured that they are welcome, a Dominican flag for Dominicans, a flag with an Islamic crescent so that Muslims know their patronage is appreciated? How are Albanians, for example, going to know it's okay for them to drink there unless their flag is represented as well? I don't see the Vatican flag hanging so I'll just have to assume Catholics aren't welcome.

    Once you get into identity politics or pandering to one group, things get messy.

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  40. Artsy Fartsy

    @Pathetic sheep

    On the one hand you are extolling the virtue of "tolerance" and at the same time suggesting it's time to "round them up" meaning people whose opinions you on homosexuality disagree with.

    FYI The darkest periods of history usually start with groups of people being rounded up.

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  41. Strongstaff

    @ Pathetic Sheep

    No matter what you say, it is clear to us all you don't like old people with views that are different from yours.

    Believe it or not, they have a right to have lived as long as they have and should be respected for the wisdom they have earned, not for what you perceive as their failure to be up to date. A lot of things that were up-to-date in the past are now seen as hopelessly foolish.

    But it never goes out of date in America for us to allow every voice to be heard. We don't have to listen or to agree, but everyone has a right to speak up.

    Grow up, learn to live with difference.

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  42. HereistheTruth

    desecrating our American flag?

    The rainbow flag which has become the international symbol of gay and lesbian rights and the American Rainbow flag which is the symbol of American LGBT. It was designed by a college group and is NOT an desecrated Stars and stripes but an adaption of the flag with it's own meaning and design.

    Please get to know the American Flag (it is not any flag with stars or stripes nor is any flag with red white and blue on it) .

    It has 50 white stars on a blue square and 13 red and white stripes.

    Other flags that may be similar BUT NOT the American flag is the American LGBT, the Flag of Liberia, Malaysia, Chile, Cuba. The Grand Union Flag, Puerto Rico and the States of Hawaii, Mississippi, Ohio, and Texas. Those are only the ones with stars and stripes in red white and blue there is a longer list for just colors or just patterns.

    Learn what is proper respect. The American flag is suppose to hang on the center of any other displayed flag. It is suppose to be taken down nightly and kept dry from rain and snow. It appears from the photo that the American flag is positioned so that it can be treated properly while the other flags have been left out in the elements.

    Desecration of the flag would include stepping on, tearing, ripping, writing on, sewing patches on, lighting on fire, leaving out to the elements, etc.

    In this case flying the American flag with the American rainbow flag and the Irish flag is NOT desecration. It is a choice. And although traditionally the American Flag should be hung higher a the CARE of the flag is more important than it's height.

    Patriotically, Murphys is more than fine.

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  43. Plain Spoken

    @radbaha

    If you had average reading comprehension skills you would have noticed that Mr, Hurley was stating that ANY change to the Stars and Stripes was a"desecration." He made no anti-gay remarks. Doofus.

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  44. HereistheTruth

    @Artsy Fartsy

    The flag were hung for St Patricks day celebrations says the article they are staying up in part in response to feedback

    Queens is the only parade that is all inclusive. It welcomes homosexuals to march (hench the Rainbow flag) It is an American (hench the American flag) and Irish Celebration so I don't see the reason for any other flags.

    Jews? not really a jewish parade, nor is it a Dominican one, nor is Albanian. Associating Muslims with St Paddy's might be more than a little offensive to the very religious.

    And the Vatican Flag is not a Catholic Flag. It is the Flag of the City which has it's own governing body and army. It does not represent the religion BUT the city of the Vatican it's independence.

    It is a bar after all, and a restaurant. Hanging a cross may not be bring in the drinkers it really wants to attract. So I'm thinking any religious symbols are out, Reminding people of temperance while trying to get them to buy a round is counter productive.

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  45. HereistheTruth

    Including the LGBT american flag was wonderful for the parade. Showing support to the homosexuals in the community and saying that people should be treated equal is Great and commendable.

    Now take the flag down.

    It's no longer St Paddys, While Murphy's is an American Irish Bar is not a gay bar and honestly is strikes at milking a good act for profit.

    f you want to show that you welcome all kind of people then just show them. Treat them better than some of the other Irish establishments in the neighborhood. If you want to show you support Gay rights or for that matter everyone's rights then hang the posters that are appropriate for the time of year. For example. Pro gay marriage during voting season.

    Hanging a rainbow flag signals to people that you are a gay bar/restaurant, something that you are not. (unless their is a change?)

    Just be who you are and let that stand for itself without the misdirection.

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  46. HereistheTruth

    There not Their. Let that be the only typo I correct....otherwise this site will be buried in posts.

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  47. why

    Whyare so manycommenters homophobic?

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  48. Patrick Hurley

    Notwithstanding the demonstrated inability to grasp simple verbiage, the cowardly hurling of falsities, insults and invective from behind the anonymity of a pseudonym demeans oneself and discredits one's cause. It is hardly consistent with the quest for "tolerance".

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  49. Luvu2

    Pat Hurley is correct

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  50. HereistheTruth

    @PH ohh how fancy. except Insults and Invective is a redundant statement.

    One accidental falsehood by me. The flag can be hung at night but only with a spotlight on it. I was corrected by my brother. In my defense our flag pole never had a spotlight and no member of my family would of ever left it out at night for fear it rained while we slept.

    I suspect you purposely lied about desecration, since you clearly identified the LGBT flag for what it was. You most likely know what desecration covers and what it doesn't and knew perfectly well that adaption of a flag is not desecration.

    Truth is not about tolerance. it is about education through which you gain freedom and beauty. Truth is about choice and the fact you chose to use the American flag as a scapegoat to place Murphy's in a bad light is abhorrent. At the least you deflected from the issue. Like what I call myself or anyone's user name is a deflection from the facts and the issue.

    Murphy's is getting crank calls, letters etc for exercising it's freedom of expression. period. That freedom should be protected. Period.

    America is not now nor has it ever been about tolerance. America is about freedom. We should and do support and fight for the freedom of others as well as ourselves.

    especially after learning (if you didn't know) the flag is being handled properly or at least the picture shows no mishandling of the flag. There should be no issue with Murphy's if you are treated well as a customer and you are not anti-gay.

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  51. HereistheTruth

    @LuvU2. The American LGBT flag was able to hang in more than one public building including Government buildings because it is NOT a desecration by law or really the flag code.

    This upset one Louisiana congress man so much that in 2013 he wrote a bill stating "no non governmental flags can hang on government flag poles" in order to ban the LGBT flag (both American and international) from government property. The wording of the bill was considered "unconstitutional" (not a legal verdict) by some and was killed. The bill may be reworded and reissued. (in fact it may have already been reworded and reissued)

    but legally and in the eyes of the current law, Flag code (international and national) and government, the American LGBT flag is a non-governmental, non desecration adaption of the flag that is perfectly with in someone's right to fly where ever freedom of speech is a right. I believe that covers Skillman.

    Feeling against it are fine. Hate the LBGT flag? Go for it. Stating something is a fact when it isn't is wrong.

    Pat is wrong about it being desecration. Although he is right about Murphy's having a nice homey atmosphere.

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  52. Luvu2

    The intolerant one is pathetic sheep who does not like the elderly

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  53. liz

    Homophobic??? In the words of Mogan Freeman "it's not a phobia, you are not scared , you are an a$$hole" ...and Please!!! Murphys doesn't need a publicity stunt, then serve the best liquor in the neighborhood and the best prices ....

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  54. Patrick Hurley

    “(g) The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any
    nature.”

    Opining, pontificating and speculating is one thing is one thing but there is always official regulations.

    http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RL30243.pdf

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  55. 43rd & 43rd

    Indeed, the American flag in the picture has nothing on/attached to it.

    Thanks to Murphy's. It's hard to say where in the neighborhood I can feel comfortable bringing people I'm dating. Good to know that if any customers take issue with it, Murphy's will presumably have our back.

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  56. WHERES THE BRANDYWELL

    careful now ...

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  57. HereistheTruth

    @luvu2

    The only thing you know about the elderly is that they are survivors. They deserve respect for that alone.

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  58. Celtic Bark

    If you are a bar that welcomes everyone, then just welcome everyone and stop obsessing about flags.

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  59. JaneGrissom

    We respect the elderly: pathetic sheep and his pals do not. Learn how to read!

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  60. HereistheTruth

    @JaneGrissom. I was agreeing with Luvu2 not arguing with her by stating just one reason the elderly deserve respect. I have more....

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  61. HereistheTruth

    @PH Thank you and the American flag isn't.

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  62. Patrick Hurley

    There are two U.S. flags in the picture:

    (1) The one hanging up - on the eagle headed pole, which is for the Stars n' Stripes only and on the correct side for the Stars n' Stripes only, has been defaced and obviously is in non - compliance with protocol.

    (2) The one drooping in the interior of the premises is displayed disrespectfully and in non compliance with protocol.

    http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RL30243.pdf

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  63. Reality Calling

    Just read the PDF, and as far as I can tell the LGBT flag is not breaking any par tof the guide -- also there is a premise to say that the LGBT flag isn't a true American flag but is instead a derivative art, and it's own thing. If thats that case then that whole guide is thrown out the window in it's use except when it's displayed with a real US flag.

    As for the large flag on the cross stake, it's fine once it's been realigned straight.

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  64. Reality Calling

    straight being horizontal... (no pun intended).

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  65. 43rd & 43rd

    The flag on the eagle-headed staff is clearly not an American flag even though it has one element in common. It's a different flag, in the same way that the Puerto Rican flag is not a defaced American flag.

    If you want to inform American businesses about the Flag Code in general, by all means, but let's hope you do so fairly and equally. Perhaps you could start with everyone's flag car magnets? Or picket Old Navy for their flag T-shirts?

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  66. Gene

    Sunnyside is full of homophobic jerks! Let's wake up and smell the coffee! Get over yourself Sunnyside your not that frigging serious so please stop hating! Your all full of crap. Get over yourselves. It's really not that serious! Grow the F up!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunnyside: Van Bramer issues report card, focuses on schools, parks and traffic safety

Van Bramer

Jan. 22, By Christian Murray

Sunnyside, NY: When he’s asked the tough questions, he typically doesn’t duck for cover.

What are your thoughts on 5Pointz? Private property, he responds.

What do you think of building on the Sunnyside Yards? Absolutely not.

Do you believe in term limits for community board members? Yes.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who darts from event-to-event, isn’t known for hedging his bets. Instead he is direct, fast on his feet, and very self assured.

It’s this self confidence that leads him to release an annual self assessment—or report card—every January. It is a rare concept, as most council members don’t do it.

“I like people to know what I’ve been doing,” Van Bramer often says, adding that people should know what their council person does. “I don’t want anyone asking: ‘Who is he? What does he do?”

The 15-page report states in large font: “16,554 and counting” referring to the number of constituent cases Van Bramer and his staff have handled over the past five years. Furthermore, it said that in 2014, he served on six committees—including as chair of Cultural Affairs and Libraries-and had a “95.3% attendance record.”

Van Bramer said that he has laid the groundwork for a number of Sunnyside/Woodside projects that will come to fruition this year.

The $1. 3 million revamp of Thomas P. Noonan Park—located at the intersection of Greenpoint Avenue and 43rd Street– is expected to be completed by summer; a new elementary school in Woodside will be opening in September; and further traffic safety measures are about to go into effect.

The ribbon cutting at Thomas P. Noonan Park will come at a time when several other park developments are in the works. The Parks Department is currently drafting preliminary plans for a $2.2 million upgrade to Big Bush Park (behind the Big Six Towers) as well as the $500,000 revamp of Hart Playground on 37th Ave. in Woodside.

Furthermore, a $500,000 upgrade to Windmuller park is coming that will cover the cost of building a new skateboard area, as well as fixing the band shell area that has been damaged by skateboarders performing their stunts.

However, Van Bramer said that there has been one park project that has been delayed; the dog run at Doughboy Park, which is adjacent to PS 11.

Van Bramer, who allocated $250,000 for the dog run in 2012, said that it is behind schedule due to the construction of a school annex at PS 11, which is located at 54-24 Skillman Avenue. He said that the contractor may need that the space where the dog run will go while construction takes place.

Van Bramer takes pride in his quest to bring more classroom space—such as the the PS 11 annex– to the area.

“We have the first new school in 60 years coming to Woodside,” Van Bramer said, referring to PS 339 (located at 39-01 57th Street), which is scheduled to open in September with the capacity to serve 470 students.

Meanwhile in Sunnyside, PS 343 (The Walter McCaffrey Campus) opened at 45-45 42nd St in September, which can cater to 434 students. In addition, construction of a 600-seat building at IS 125 (46-02 47 Ave.) is in the works, which is likely to lead to the removal of the trailers that are currently spread across the school grounds.

“I will continue to build schools…and invest in parks,” Van Bramer said.

Van Bramer secured $4.5 million in funding last year for the renovation and expansion of Thalia Spanish Theatre, which is located at 41-17 Greenpoint Avenue. The funds will double the theater’s seating capacity from 75 to 150.

That section of Greenpoint Avenue in the past few years has been an area filled with vacancies. However, with the upgrade of the supermarket on the strip, the arrival of other businesses and the impending revamp of Thalia that section of Greenpoint Ave. is showing signs of improvement.

Van Bramer said that the Sunnyside business district is on the upsurge in general. “There are very few vacant stores,” he said. He said that the acquisition—and likely development—of several parcels of property on Queens Blvd is largely the result of a booming real estate market coupled with Sunnyside being viewed as a vibrant and safe neighborhood.

Meanwhile, a Woodside street cleaning program that involves two workers cleaning Roosevelt (51st to 61st Streets) and Woodside Avenues will continue.

In addition, the graffiti cleanup program—where streets such as Broadway, Skillman Ave, 43rd Ave., Roosevelt Ave. and Woodside Ave. are cleaned monthly–has also been funded for this year.

Slow zonesVan Bramer said that he has been working on many transportation issues since he has been in office—with the greatest number of constituent cases he and his staff have had to deal with being transportation concerns.

While many of these issues have dealt with the No. 7 train and the MTA (which are overseen by the state), he hears from constituents about stop signs and dangerous driving.

He said that he advocated for the 25 mph speed limit and slow zones within Sunnyside and Woodside. The slow zone in Sunnyside (south of Queens Blvd) is complete—with the Woodside (which includes northern Sunnyside) expected to be completed within the first half of this year.

“People are concerned about the safety of their kids and families,” Van Bramer said, who put in an application with the Department of Transportation for the two slow zones.

Van Bramer takes great pride in his strong support of Vision Zero—including his push for launching arterial slow zones on Northern and Queens Blvd. Furthermore, he received citywide attention for his “Justice for Hit and Run Victims Act,” which recently went into effect that imposes a hefty civil penalty on drivers who flee the scene of an accident.

Van Bramer, who was named Majority Leader at the beginning of last year, also said that the position allows him to be a better advocate for the district. For instance, he said, he was in a better position to be able to reach out to the administration to let it be known that the Pepsi sign in Long Island City should not lose its place on the “Landmarks Preservation calendar.”

Van Bramer is politically ambitious and does not hide it. He said that he will definitely run for city council again in 2017.

He would not comment if he has speakership goals in mind—or whether a city-wide office would come after that.

“The council speakership was determined over a period of a few weeks [in December 2013] so it is way too far away to start thinking about that,” Van Bramer said. “And then another four years after that…anything could happen by then.”

For Van Bramer’s report card, please click here:

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LIC: A strange caricature of a religious Muslim draws plenty of hate

anti-muslim

Jan. 21, By Christian Murray

A strange caricature of a religious Muslim accompanied by the words Je Ne suis Pas Charlie—has been placed on Jackson Avenue near the Court Square train station.

The slogan Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie (I am Not Charlie) is a term adopted by some people following the massacre of 12 people at the French publication Charlie Hebdo. These people viewed Charlie Hedbo as a distasteful publication in the way it portrayed Muslims and other groups.

The sign has several anti Muslim messages scribbled on it…such as “Islam stones women to death…” and “Muslims kill homo-sexuals.”

The messages are likely to have been written by a passerby who took exception to the poster.

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muslim

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Two northern Italians open ‘Brick-Oven Pizzeria’ on Greenpoint Avenue
olivilla and samone

Salvatore Olivella and Simone Apollonio

Jan. 18, By Christian Murray

A new pizzeria opened on Greenpoint Avenue Thursday that offers thin-crust stone oven pizzas.

The restaurant, called Nonna Gina Brick Oven Pizzeria is located at 43-24 Greenpoint Avenue, and is owned and operated by two northern Italian natives, who learned to make pizza in their home country.

Salvatore Olivella, who is the chef, makes the pizza Naples style, in accordance with his grandmother Gina’s recipe. The pizzas come in a variety of different toppings.

Olivella, who has worked in Little Italy and other Manhattan locations, makes 18 inch elongated pizzas (called Metro) as well as smaller round personal pies.

The pizzeria is owned by Simone Apollonio, who is from Brescia. He has operated pizzerias from Britain to Australia.

The restaurant also offers a variety of pasta dishes as well as salads.

Hours: 11 am – 11 pm seven days.

Phone number: 718-361-5503 (deliveries to start in next week or two)

Pizza2

brick 005

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Robber hits Chase bank in Woodside Saturday
suspect

Suspect from surveillance camera (NYPD)

Jan. 18, Staff Report Chase Bank Woodside

A man robbed the Woodside Chase branch Saturday and fled with cash, police said.

The suspect walked into Chase Bank, located at 59-26 Woodside Avenue, approached the teller and demanded money at around 11:30 am on Jan. 17, according to police.

The teller handed over an undetermined amount of money and then the robber fled. There were no reported injuries.

The suspect is a white male, 6’2″ tall weighing 200 pounds, according to police.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

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Police: Man exposed himself to worker at 61st Street station

expose

Jan. 16, Staff Report

A man exposed himself to a 22-year-old woman who was working at a store inside a Woodside subway station, police said.

The employee was working in the mezzanine area of the 61st Street and Woodside Avenue station at about 1 p.m. on Jan. 3 when the suspect entered the business. He then exposed himself to the woman, police said.

The suspect fled when a customer entered the store.

Police have released video footage of the suspect. They describe him as black, 25 to 30 years old and 6 feet tall with a thin build.

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

 

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More Headlines

Two northern Italians open ‘Brick-Oven Pizzeria’ on Greenpoint Avenue
olivilla and samone

Salvatore Olivella and Simone Apollonio

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

Suspect from surveillance camera (NYPD)

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

Sunnyside Map 2014 010615 Crops by sunnysidepost

Sunnyside Directory 2014 010715 Crops by sunnysidepost

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

Daniel Dromm

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

ByLaws CB1 by sunnysidepost

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

Greenpoint Avenue

Jan. 13, By Christian Murray A piece of public art went up today on a large billboard on Greenpoint Avenue—between 45th and 46th Streets. The artwork has been installed by “14X48,” a non-profit organization that takes vacant billboards and then brightens them up through public art. The Greenpoint Avenue billboard is now covered with a collage of 80-plus posters that all start with the slogan “Keep Calm.” Each poster has a separate message, such as: “Keep Calm and Kiss Me,” or “Keep Calm and play basketball.” The slogan originated in Britain during WWII, with “Keep Calm and Carry On.” While the British did not use it, the slogan has since been used for marketing purposes. The artist, Margeaux Walter of Brooklyn, said that that she chose the slogan since it addressed the “overlap between individuality and commerce as well as the various guises of advertising and propaganda.” The artwork will be up for at least four weeks. The artist also invites people to tweet messages using the hashtag #keepcalm14x48. These tweets will be made into postcards and distributed along Greenpoint Avenue and at Ave. Coffee House. For more information, please click here.  
OT to reopen this week, with focus on Mediterranean food and sports
otlounge-250x250 Jan. 12, By Christian Murray This Sunnyside bar/restaurant got off to a tough start. Over Time, located at 39-31 Queens Blvd, opened in August and promised that it would offer live music, DJs and dancing. The owner, however, quickly received word from officials that these activities were not sanctioned in accordance to its liquor license and it was forced to close. Today, nearly five months later, the establishment is about to open and will operate as a Mediterranean restaurant and a sports bar. "We used the time to focus on our restaurant and our menu," said Sean Verderber, the assistant manager, who claimed the time was not wasted. The venue is expected to open this Thursday, with its hours from 11 am to 1 am seven days per week. The bar is going to be offering a range of exotic drinks—such as strawberry mojitos, water melon martinis and cucumber gin. Beer will be sold by the bottle. The menu will include a wide range of Greek items from Souvlaki to lamb Shish Kabob. It will include fried calamari to a number of seafood dishes—as well as steak, lamb chops, burgers to Greek-rice pudding. “The food is upscale but at a reasonable price,” Verderber said. “Many people will be impressed.” Verderber said that there will be a comment box inside the restaurant allowing diners to make suggestions or provide their opinion. The establishment will also be making sure that sports fans are well served. There will be a bar menu that includes wings and mozzarella sticks. “We will be showing all the games – whether it be football, hockey or soccer,” he said. “I want this to be a place where everyone feels comfortable.”
OT Inside

OT Inside

Car flips over after crash at 43rd Street/43rd Avenue Friday night
accident1 Jan. 10, Staff Report Two cars collided at the corner of 43rd Street and 43rd Avenue Friday night, with one vehicle flipping over, according to witnesses. The incident reportedly took place about 11:45 pm. The NYPD and FDNY's press office had no information on the incident. It is not known the extent of any injuries. accident
Another Queens Blvd property hits the market
43-19 Queens Blvd

43-19 Queens Blvd

Jan. 10, By Christian Murray Another slice of Queens Blvd real estate has just hit the market. The owner of 43-19 Queens Blvd has just listed the property for $4.5 million. The building is currently occupied by Subway, Lucky’s Salon and Realty Depot. There are also four 2-bedroom apartments and 2 parking spaces in the rear of the lot. The 3-story structure—built in the 1930s-- is currently utilizing 5,865 square feet of building space. Zoning permits a building of up to 9,200 square feet (4 x the lot size). To view the Sunnyside listing, click here:
Google map of site

Google map of corner lot

Seven story building to go up on Queens Blvd., next to Boston Market
developmentQB Jan. 7, By Christian Murray Another big building is coming to Sunnyside/Woodside. A 7-story building is likely to go up on 50th Street and Queens Blvd—next to Boston Market, according to Department of Building records. The owner of the property, Ronald Ji, has filed plans with the Building Department to erect a seven story 31 unit building. The property had been occupied by N.E.M. Electronics. The development represents further change to that stretch of Queens Blvd. A 7-story 29-unit buildings is being developed at 51-27 Queens Blvd, where the VFM Post 2813 was located until January 2014. Furthermore, in February 2014, a 66-unit building located at 52-05 Queens Boulevard was completed. Apartments at that building-- called Icon 52-- start at $1,500 per month. The units range in size from 403 square feet to 806 square feet.
Icon 52

Icon 52

New development site, former location of VFW Post

New development site, former location of VFW Post

Queens Blvd building in contract to be sold for $7.75 million
property shark Jan. 6, By Christian Murray A large piece of Queens Blvd property is likely to be changing hands for a whopping $7.8 million, according to the real estate data provider Property Shark. The 43-24 Queens Blvd property—which incorporates stores such as Dave's Bagels to Amazon Pharmacy—is 9,500 square feet and represents about half the block on the south side of the boulevard between 43rd and 44th Streets. The property also goes deep into 44th Street incorporating stores on that block. The owner of the building Geoffrey Henderson is currently in contract to sell it for $7,750,000. The likely buyer has not been listed. This transaction would most likely close before the Center Cinemas and King Boulevard properties (both sold for redevelopment purposes) face the wrecking ball. With zoning, a developer could construct a building with 38,000 square feet of floor space. Currently, the building is one story, utilizing 8,500 square feet of floor space. The property generated about $370,000 in rental income in 2013, according to Property Shark. property
Property Shark

Property Shark

   

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