Two men rob Sunnyside grocery store at gunpoint

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83 Responses to Two men rob Sunnyside grocery store at gunpoint

  1. Neighbor

    Uh oh,
    I hope the video is clear. We don't need this crap around here!

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  2. D

    El barrio

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  3. Mido

    so bad ....so many thing bad happen in sunny side

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  4. Gerry

    Wow, no indication of anything about the suspects background and D is already being racist. I wish that was surprising, but the comments section in the Post tend to bring out the worst sorts of trolls.

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  5. larry

    Umm ghetto shelters around here go up crime raises umm it's not a coincidence open your eyes people!!

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  6. Annie D

    Whoa, that's scary. I pop in there late at night all the time, and in the morning. Hope they catch the people who did it.

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  7. Crackerjack

    Is the 108 just too busy taking care of LIC now that that is a "cool" overpriced neighborhood, that they are neglecting Sunnyside? It sure seems over the past year that crime is skyrocketing.

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  8. midori

    wow so those WERE shots I heard that night...my apt is only slightly out of frame of that photo.

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  9. Jennifer

    Ugh not at sunny side it's always been so calm.... They better catch those fools

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  10. anonymous

    the neighborhood is going to shit while politicians put plazas we don't need, nice.

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  11. M

    D - el barrio is your side... The south side!! Keep this crap over there.

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  12. BornNbredHere

    Thank your mayor. Don't blame the police! People wanted stop question and frisk to end so the police ended it. What message do you think that sent to criminals out there... that they can go back to carrying and not fear getting pat down. Congrats nyc, this is the city you demanded. You wanna know where the 108 cops are? There out there not being proactive because they were asked not to be!

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  13. Celtic Bark

    Perhaps SP should do some investigative reporting into these homeless shelters in the neighborhood I keep reading about in the comments sections. Anybody know if this is true? What are the facts?

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  14. Mobo

    I will tell you this... if these posts are any indication, there are a lot of angry people in Sunnyside, and that's a shame.

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  15. Change

    I think we just need another bar crawl

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  16. Pecker

    This would never happen Britain!!!!!

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  17. BornNbredHere

    I'm sorry Mobo, please tell me exactly how concerned residents should react after reading a story about an armed robbery? Perhaps we should all sit in a circle and sing kumbaya.

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  18. Julia

    Leave it to a news report for the racist internet trolls to show their asses. Sad.

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  19. Dorothy Morehead

    I'm not blaming the victim, but there really is no need for that store to be open 24 hours a day. The clerk is a sitting duck, working alone. There is no security and robbers can flee in any direction and disappear in the courtyards. After the bars close, it is the only business open on Skillman Avenue. The Met is open 24/7 and is only two blocks away. They have security cameras and several people on duty at all times so it is much safer for both employees and customers.

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  20. Sunnyslider

    Those guys in there are so nice. This is terrible!!!

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  21. Kramden's Delicious Marshall

    Dorothy Morehead makes a lot of good points.

    The rare times I ever go into a deli late at night, I always look inside first to make sure the place isn't getting held up.

    Getting held up at gunpoint is terrifying. Trust me, I know.

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  22. SuperWittySmitty

    Midori, who said there were shots fired? I don't see that mentioned anywhere.

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  23. SuperWittySmitty

    And there aren't any "ghetto shelters" in our neighborhood. People say a lot of nonsense; just ignore them.

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  24. 7TrainDelays

    If I were a store owner, I would NEVER be open that late with just ONE employee guarding the place. I would value the lives of my workers more than the few late night dollars I might bring in during the wee hours. Let's hope this owner at least had the decency to have some first rate security cameras installed.

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  25. Julia Assange

    Please told tell me the robber was wearing a ski mask and/or hoodie.

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  26. Julia Assange

    I meant, "Please don't tell me . . . " can we get a description of the perp? I have always wondered what is stopping somebody from going into one of the bars with a gun and robbing people especially since it is almost impossible for a civilian to get a firearm for protection. You know for sure that it is unlikely that anybody in one of the local pubs is carrying.

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  27. Julia Assange

    Oh, yeah: the other store owners that don't have security cameras - get them - like now! I remember the Wendy's Massacre that left five people dead (in Flushing).

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  28. John Doe

    no more homeless people/shelters!!!!

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  29. " Sunnysider"

    They have cameras in the store... lets hope they find the two and put them away fast.... . nice to have these stores open late for buisness but we do not want to have crime visit us as well..

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  30. Andrew

    While I do also ask myself why that store needs to be open 24hrs since there is little to no activity that late at night here, but it is also their right to be open whenever they want for however long they want regardless of how many employees they have in there. Having more employees does not guarantee that you will not be robbed, especially since these guys came in with a gun. I also am not aware of any "ghetto shelters" opening up here, so not sure where they are getting that from. But I agree that they should at least install security cameras inside and out. I hope they catch these guys like they caught Wade Harriston for robbing that guy in front of Stop and Shop and lock them up.

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  31. 5FootGremlin

    @M:

    LOL You dimwitted, mouth-breather! The South side doesn't get murders, gunpoint robberies and their rims jacked. So actually, the North side is the ghetto of Sunnyside. Be careful when you walk your dog, you wouldn't want to get mugged on those dark lit streets with the pretty trees.

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  32. Flores 65

    Is it me or is Sunnyside becoming more dangerous to live in? Thank goodness no one got shot.

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  33. Chris

    Private security force. Who would be up for contributing??

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  34. Woodsider

    I live on the border of Sunnyside. I spend most of my time over there in my free time. The news reports lately are getting more violent in nature.... I feel I NEED to take a cab more often to be safe. This shouldn't be....

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  35. slur

    5 foot Gremlin: Newsflash: "Mouthbreather" is a slur. Google it.

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  36. M

    5FootGremlin - is that a threat?

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  37. D

    Gerry you are a racist moron. El barrio describes a place not a person. You must have some serious white guilt issues

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  38. Luvu2

    Heard they wore ski masks

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  39. D

    Gerry you are a racist. El barrio describes a place not a person. You must have some serious white guilt.

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  40. Crane

    BornNbredHere, how do you expect stop and frisk to stop this from happening? I am still all for that and screw that "profiling" stuff, if you act suspicious you should be frisked, but if there are no cops around what difference does it make.

    I think these thugs follow SP very closely and they learned 108 is not doing much so they realized they can terrorize sunnysie.

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  41. SunnysidePosthatesme17

    I was one of the first to tell you all that this would happen to Sunnyside, and you mocked me, you called me a troll, you told me to leave Sunnyside.

    And I have been right about EVERYthing..about your leaders...about the problems being ignored...and now you notice.

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  42. Craic Dealer

    The only way to resolve these crimes is the give business owners the right to carry. Thieves would move along towards people they can take advantage of.

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  43. Craic Dealer

    Legalize Liberty!

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  44. Same old story

    *yawn* when are the latino looking hand sketches being released?

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  45. Sunnyside Nostalgia

    Fear mongering?

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  46. angela

    Jimmy our counsel person wants only to deal with LIC and no where else -- and why is 108 Pct. not caring about Sunnyside or Woodside that much -- only LIC --

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  47. Luvu2

    Where are the police ? Obviously the perps had cased the store and knew guy would be alone

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  48. Pete

    The perpetrators are most likely not homeless people. I volunteer with homeless people, and those who are truly homeless are financially destitute and therefore could not afford a gun. Guns commonly run into the hundreds of dollars. How would someone who can't afford to buy lunch for $5 afford a $300 gun?

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  49. anthony blackwood

    The robbers were african american (fact) so that should take the mistery out of that. 3 robberies at gun point in the last month. cant remember the last time a robbery at gun point before "stop and frisk" stopped. Hmm wonder does that have anything to do with it. And Morehead by the way the shop has the right to stay open all the hours it wants. When Mayor Bla Bla is reassigning cops from our area to high crime areas (fact) this is what happens

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  50. Beenhere25years

    Dorothy Moorehead's points are stupid. She is blaming the victim. That's like blaming the way a woman dresses if she gets raped. Blame the criminal. He has a right to open as long as he likes without the fear of crime. Common Dorothy.

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  51. 7TrainDelays

    Beenhere25years wrote:

    "Dorothy Moorehead’s points are stupid. She is blaming the victim. That’s like blaming the way a woman dresses if she gets raped. Blame the criminal. He has a right to open as long as he likes without the fear of crime."

    And I have the right to leave my windows and doors unlocked and wide open all the time without the fear of being robbed. But I'd be damn stupid if I did.

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  52. Beenhere25years

    It's sad that you can't leave your windows open. It's sad that criminals determine how we live our lives. Let's all hide in out houses. Stores should all close when it gets dark. There's a difference between common sense and giving in to criminals.

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  53. Luvu2

    Too many felonies lately does mayor blabla know?

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  54. Luvu2

    Van Bramer too busy with his plazas

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  55. Hoof Hearted

    "Two men rob Sunnyside grocery store at gunpoint"

    May I suggest a slight change to the headline?

    Two "cowardly scumbags" rob Sunnyside Grocery Store at Gunpoint

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  56. Same old story

    wheres da sketches...? too busy over there at the 108?

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  57. joe king

    I think of the grocer had a shot gun things would be different . I propose a neighborhood watch armed with baseball bats and crow bars ..

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  58. BornNbredHere

    Crane: Have you seen crime increase since SQF stopped? Sure ya did. And I'll bet you all the tea in China that these low lives are not from here but know this neighborhood is an easy target because crime is low so there is a less police presence. Here's the catch when SQF was in effect cops were hands on in high crime areas, so less perps carried weapons and rarely did they dare leave their comfort zone with a weapon. Unfortunately, perps are now calling the shots and testing the cops. Sadly, the city has made most cops feel that their pension is not worth risking to continue to SQF and great neighborhoods like Sunnyside are going to start experiencing some very sad realities of the evil that lives among us.

    There is no perfect art to policing. People will always complain about the law and those that enforce it. I'd rather live in a society where some innocents are frisked than no one frisked at all. And, until we get away from this being a racial issue sadly, everyone will suffer. We elect politicians. They work for us. Let's take back our neighborhood and work with the police. Not against them.

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  59. Julia Assange

    Bornnbredhere has some good thoughts and ideas.

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  60. South Side Johnny

    SQF was bad news, it was ineffective, and in goes against the Constitution, 4th amendment. Hundreds of thousands of people were stopped and frisked, and an average of 88% were completely innocent. This is how come so many people are against the cops now, and it's not good to have problems between cops and general public.

    Go live in a police state if that is the life you want! Here, I can walk around and know police cannot bother me just because they "think" I am a bad guy. I am protected by laws against unreasonable search and seizure. God bless America.

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  61. Oldschool Sunnysider

    TEN PERCENT of people SQF were arrested.
    Thats a NINETY PERCENT FAILURE RATE.

    THREE PERCENT of people SQF has guns/weapons on them.
    Thats a NINETY SEVEN PERCENT FAILURE RATE.

    LOOK at all the convictions of Brooklyn DA's Charlie Hynes' being overturned.

    Are willing as a society to go back to the days of Jim Crow...the days of when "Any N---er will do" ????

    Get the cops OUT OF THE CARS and BACK ON THE STREET...where the belong.

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  62. Native NYer

    Welcome to life under DeBlasio.

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  63. BornNbredHere

    Actually if you read the law and know the 4th ammendment it's protects people from an unlawful search and seizure. Under Terry v. Ohio, police can frisk anyone who they have reasonable suspicion to believe is carrying a weapon. You can Bless America and spew clichés all you'd like, but last I checked NYC is still America and it is illegal to carry any firearm if you are not a member of law enforcement. Thus if an officer sees a bulge, he can stop you. Get. Over. It.

    As for the amount of people stopped versus those arrested, not every bulge is a weapon, thus a lot of frisks turned up cellphones or wallets. I'd love to know how many readers on here were actually stopped and frisked in Sunnyside? Also, did you know that if a crime occurs and a description comes over the radio and you fit it you, under the law, can be stopped and held for a period of time required to undergo an investigation. This also produced a stop question and frisk report. Not all people stopped were frisked. But, keep feeding into media generated numbers with zero investigation done on your own and you'll wind up right where you are. Chock full of information you don't even understand. Both of you have different percentages. Shocking.

    As for a police state. Get real. I am pro police not a police state. What you have right now is an attack on police because it's become some sort of fad. Wake up. Stop buying into media bs.

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  64. Pete

    @BornNbredHere: guns technically are not illegal in NYC or anywhere else in the country; the Second Amendment (for better or worse) is a federal law and as such trumps local statutes. The Bloomberg administration would have us believe otherwise, but one may easily argue that the bureaucratic, time consuming and expensive process of attaining a gun "permit" in NYC is unconstitutional. I support general background checks but what they do in NYC supersedes a reasonable background check. It is designed to legalize arms for the affluent and keep them out of the hands of the less affluent. As with the Bloombergian "poor door" policy in luxury buildings, money and social class determine access to all things.

    Also what does "reasonable suspicion" mean exactly? I hear that a lot but have never seen or heard it properly defined.

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  65. Scoler

    Is true, BurnedBread, stop & frisk was no good, and people did not like it. Today's cop has problems defusing situations (like that grandma in Brooklyn last week, dragged out of her apt in her undies) or arresting someone without resorting to using choke-holds; I don't want them looking at me and suspecting I have a gun. Unless they have probable cause, they can't be frisking just anyone. Get real and quit listening to right-wing conservative propaganda. You are their tool.

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  66. SuperWittySmitty

    The problem w/ S&F was that it was being used injudiciously; cops were jumping to conclusions just because they saw a bulge. If you want to refer to Terry v Ohio, remember that the police officer has to have a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime and has a reasonable belief that the person "may be armed and presently dangerous.

    Before stopping and frisking someone, you need a reasonable suspicion that there is a connect to the person and imminent criminal activity; way too many of the hundreds of thousands who were frisked and subjected to unfair and humiliating harassment by the police had NOT done anything to give cops "reasonable suspicion." Far too often, they were stopped and frisked because they were not white. That is a huge issue, and that's why we got rid of stop and frisk, because it was BAD, UNFAIR, and RACIST.

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  67. Sunnysidster

    That store is a rip-off! More like 'Sunnyside grocery store robs customers'.

    All jokes aside, De Blasio is gonna run place into the ground! We ain't seen nothing yet!

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  68. Pete

    @SuperWittySmitty: that's part of my point. Those are a lot of criteria to put on an officer under the rubric of "reasonable suspicion"; they're forced to be mind readers. And they're human like the rest of us, so they make mistakes more often than not.

    When I go out I have bulges in my pants (no jokes please) because I'm carrying keys and a phone and a wallet. I've never been stopped or frisked in NYC. A friend of mine in Woodside who is an African American male in his 20s who tends to wear hip hop style clothing was stopped & frisked last year on his way home from a volunteer project no less. This guy is a church goer, does tons of volunteer work around the city and is the nicest person you will meet. So what's the difference between him and me? I can't think of anything other than our respective ages, races, and modes of dress.

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  69. BornNbredHere

    Actually SupperWittySmitty if you can articulate that you have reasonable suspicion that someone is about to or has possibly committed a crime you are within the legal parameters of being able to stop someone. When people talk about stop question & frisk they get very hung up on the frisk. A lot of those reports were written just based on a stop and a brief convo. You can always refuse to give a police officer your ID. If you're innocent but fit the description it's not the police officers fault.

    There were a lot more black and Hispanic people stopped, because more violent crime occurs in abundance in areas that are more richly populated by black and Hispanics. That is irrefutable fact. If you went to a precinct in Flushing you'd find more Asians were stopped... is that racist? Is it racist to stop more black people in a black neighborhood? I'd think, that by the definition of racism, it's actually more racist to stop a white person in a black neighborhood than a black person in a black neighborhood. Maybe I'm wrong.

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  70. BornNbredHere

    Pete, if a federal law trumps all local statutes then explain why you can not carry a firearm in the city of ny? You may however have a firearm unloaded inside your home. So yes, you may own a weapon. However, you may not place it in your waistband or holder upon your belt and carry it around if you are not a member of law enforcement. That's the law. I'm not exactly sure where you get your information about the affluent having an easier time obtaining a firearm in order to keep them out of the hands of the less affluent. Last I checked there were more illegal guns on the streets of nyc than legal guns... and if this point you make is true then why are there less shootings in Midtown and downtown manhattan as opposed to the Bronx? Maybe I'm missing your point.

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  71. Pete

    BornNbredHere: my information about the city attempting to keep guns in the hands of the affluent is based on the application fee for a gun permit. It is currently well over $400. That may not sound like much to a middle class person, but if you're in a lower income bracket that could represent a month's rent in a subsidized apartment. I agree that illegal guns are making their way onto the streets anyway, but if you get caught with an illegal weapon in NYC you face very stiff penalties including potential prison time. As most poorer people can;t afford the time or money for the arduous gun application process, they may be relying on cheaper black market goods and thus risk imprisonment if caught. I'm not saying this is a good choice on their part, but when institutions exclude people from a market this is what happens.

    In terms of local statutes that make gun ownership difficult, as I said earlier this is a political policy pushed by the Bloomberg administration. It is contradicting the Second Amendment but it survives because of the political status quo in the city, not because of its legal validity.

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  72. Julia Assange

    Bornnbred has good comments. Yes, welcome to life under Deblasio and it is going to get worse. Al Sharpton is really our mayor.

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  73. BornNbredHere

    Pete, please find me a source that cites people who are locked up for gun charges ever even attempting to obtain a license for a hand gun and I will buy your point. Until then I think you are trying to make a point for law abiding citizens to carry weapons, which is not the problem we are facing. I sincerely doubt this grocery store was held up by two men with legally purchased fire arms. City laws are strict because of the population. Most people under pressure are a terrible shot. If you don't like the gun laws in the 5 boroughs please move upstate where the laws are less strict... or Texas. They appear to have this all figured out.

    Also, WHERE ARE YOU PAYING $400 FOR RENT? sign me up...

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  74. Paul

    Stop and frisk was a horrible failure because the officers responsible for identifying possible weapons, making a stop, and executing a frisk were not properly trained to do so. They were forced by superiors to make X number of stops per month, and in extreme cases were TOLD to targets blacks and latinos. The only people left supporting stop and frisk in its current state were white people living in communities isolated from crime through either affluence or geography. I am a teacher, and when I see straight A students having trouble with school because they have been stopped every day for the past 2 weeks simply for having their book bag (and being a minority) I realize the policy has failed.
    .

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  75. Pete

    BornNbredHere: Touche, I have no such document at this time. Fair enough. However, my basic point is that the current NYC regulations on firearms do indeed contradict the Constitution. That said, I also believe that arms need to be kept out of the hands of those not suited to have them--which doesn't necessarily mean class or race but rather mental constitution and observed criminality.

    Paul: good point. I have a friend in Woodside who is a church going individual who spends much of his life volunteering to help others around the city. He was stopped and frisked last year. And this guy is completely decent, sane, non-violent, and cares for others more than most of us--and is also African American and male. This doesn't bode well for the underlying logic of stop & frisk.

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  76. consideredsunnysider

    Can sunnysiders please start a neighborhood watch. Sunnyside is becoming a place that is no longer safe to live. Our car has been broken into twice this summer, people are getting caught casing houses, all these armed robberies. If the cops arent going to do anything about it then we should all band together and do something. Anyone agree?

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  77. Ken

    Hopefully they had a security camera inside the store and will be able to identify the two punks.

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  78. BornNbredHere

    Pete - I am very sorry for your friend if he felt like his rights were violated. However, my boyfriend comes home from work at 4am. He is tall, bald, muscular, and white. He also apparently fit the script for the burglar breaking into homes on 44th-46th street last summer/fall. One early morning he felt like he was being followed by a car. To his surprise, he was. Two men jumped out of the car and question where he was coming from and going to. They were plain clothes cops. While he felt rattled, he understood why they stopped him. time, place, description and he was carrying a backpack. Is it fair for him to say he was racially stopped or stopped based on a description that fit his race? I understand it is a blurred line and a slippery slope. Was your friend possibly stopped because he fit the description of a crime in an area more populated by blacks and Latinos. Or was he stopped right outside queen of angels after attending Saturday night mass? Both those factors create two very different scenarios.

    Currently, the media depicts an image that ALL cops put on their uniform and walked out with the INTENT of targeting only black and Latino males solely for their racial make-up. What about if we looked at it like this? Cops in low income areas, which are mostly populated by blacks and Latinos, stopped mostly or only blacks and Latinos because that was what they were told to look for based in a description. Now what if the police officer is also black or latino... is this still a racially motivated stop?

    perspective is everything. Often when he feel strongly for one thing we forget to switch perspectives.

    Most, in fact majority of cops are not racist. Yes, some are. Unfortunately, some cops did take advantage of a good policing tool, however doing away with it is also not the answer.

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  79. Julia Assange

    How was stop question and frisk a failure? Right now, without it, we have a big increase in shootings. Big spike. I hope DeBlasio is proud - he ran his campaign against the police and had the nerve to put his son in his commercials. Now he has Sharpton on his case. Bratton needs to go to more celebrity parties. I will bet he enjoys being in gossip columns.

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  80. Pete

    BornNbredHere, what we need to resolve this question are statistics. We're both offering anecdotes back and forth, which is fine, but one anecdote cancels out another. We need to know the statistics on crime and race versus stop & frisk and race. That would be illuminating. I'll have to look for it. I'm willing to bet though that during the s&f era, many more minority men were pulled over than white men. Sure, some white men may get pulled over (sorry for your bf) but statistically it must be the other way around. Otherwise, the decades-long widespread public perception on the issue is off base. Whatever the case, if they're pulling ANYONE over, they must have a very clear cause beyond they "look" a particular way. That was criminology in the 19th century.

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  81. Pete

    Here's what a quick we search rendered:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/13/nypd-stop-and-frisks-15-shocking-facts_n_1513362.html

    I'll also add that I've been the victim of stop and frisk in my own lifetime back when I was a teen, and I'm white and male. Regardless, it is embarrassing for anyone (one of my neighbors witnessed it). The officers who conducted it were rude and bullying and only reluctantly told me upon being asked that my car make & model was supposedly involved in an armed robbery earlier that day in a nearby town. The car was almost brand new and belonged to my parents and had valid license plates. Thus, their explanation didn't add up to me.

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  82. BornNbredHere

    Pete- I want to Thank you for being open to my opinion and listening and having a debate that didn't come to cheap shots and low blows. It's very easy to get emotional behind a computer screen.

    Sadly, I don't know if we ever will get the true stats of SQF but if I shed a slightly different perspective for you to think about then I think this whole thread was Damn well worth it. It takes a lot to see things differently, and I think I felt a lot like you before my bf was stopped. Then I became a little more aware and thankful. I felt like the police were doing their jobs, which I'd often accused them of not doing and never being around.

    It's been a great discussion and I hope we all do what we can to keep this neighborhood as wonderful as it is.

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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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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). 

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More Headlines

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)

30-year old wins ‘Sunnysider of the Year’ award
Oguzhan Turan

Oguzhan Turan

Nov. 2, By Christian Murray A 30-year-old Turkish immigrant will be receiving the 2015 Sunnysider of the Year award at the Tangra ballroom (39-23 Queens Blvd) Monday evening. Oguzhan Turan, who is the executive director of the Sunnyside-based Turkish Cultural Center Queens, will be receiving the joint award from the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and SunnysideArtists.org. The award is handed out to someone who lives or works in Sunnyside who has contributed to the greater good without regard to faith, fundraising or politics. Turan was nominated by a committee representing both organizations—as well as past winners-- and was voted for the award unanimously, according to Patricia Dorfman, founder of Sunnysideartists.org and former Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce member. The award, officially called the Luke Adams’ Sunnysider of the Year award, was first bestowed on Luke Adams in 2011. The Turkish Cultural Center Queens is best known in this neighborhood for its Ramadan celebration when it feeds hundreds of people under a tent it sets up in Sunnyside for a number of evenings each year. The group also gained attention after Superstorm Sandy when it handed out 5,000 cups of soup and made a $50,000 donation to help repair a damaged Queens Library branch. Turan, as an individual, is known for his personal service to others, wrote Dorfman for the Woodside Herald. “Turan can always be counted on to show up before anyone else, do physical work if required, and make the charitable activities of others come to fruition. He is there in a crisis, including personal,” Dorfman wrote. “He does car runs for the needy, sets up and builds tents for street fair booths, and gives of his own money and time on a daily basis.” Turan will be the fifth winner of the award. It has gone to Luke Adams, Queen of Angles priest Brian Dowd, Francis Schmidt (a member of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and Sunnyside/Woodside Lions Club) and Donald McCallian (who runs the community organization the United 40s Civic Association.  

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