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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Residents produces video: ‘Christmas in Sunnyside’

Christmas in Sunnyside, Queens, NYC from George on Vimeo.

A Sunnyside resident has put together a video titled “Christmas in Sunnyside”.

George Burles, who provides frequent videos to this site, shot it in the past week.

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12 weekends of No. 7 train service cuts through May: Nine to impact Sunnyside

weekendoutages

Dec. 17, By Christian Murray

Get ready for the latest round of No. 7 train weekend service cuts.

The MTA released its schedule for the first five months of 2015 and the No. 7 train will be out of service between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza for nine weekends. Five of those weekend will see cuts between Queensboro Plaza and 74th Street.

In addition, there will be weekend service cuts between Willets Point and Flushing-Main Street on three other weekends.

The first weekend of the Times Square/Queensboro Plaza cuts is scheduled to take place January 17-19, which will be the first of four weekends in a row that it will be down.

The MTA says that the cuts are in order for it to install a new Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) signal system; replace elevated tracks; and for the reconstruction and fortification of the Steinway Tubes (which connects Queens to Manhattan).

The MTA, which is a state-run agency, claims that majority of this work has been scheduled over weekends when ridership is lower than normal.

Van Bramer said that it was unacceptable that the MTA would close service for several weekends in a row in January and February—during the coldest month of the year.

He said that residents might be a little more forgiving about the closures if they had seen improved service as promised. However, “the truth is that over the past few months No. 7 train regular service has been poor and there have been lots of delays.”

He said that on December 11 the delays were so bad that the overcrowded subway platforms put commuters at risk.

 

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Sunnyside farmers market to be open all year round

Sunnyside-market

Dec. 16, By Christian Murray

The Sunnyside Greenmarket, which had been operating from May through December, has been approved to open all year round.

The coordinator of the program received word about 10 days ago–after putting in a request earlier this year to open every Saturday for the entire year.

Greenmarket representatives started a petition drive in August calling for a year-round market. More than 1,000 residents signed it. The community board then sent a letter of support.

The market operates every Saturday from 8 am through 3pm and is located on Skillman Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Streets.

“I think the neighborhood is ready for it,” said Jessenia Cagle, the coordinator of the market, in September. “There are a lot of people in the area who like fresh, local food—and they don’t want to have to go too far to get it especially in winter.”

The market, which opened in June 2007, has proved to be a success. Presently there are 16 farmers/vendors out each weekend selling vegetables, meat, fish and bread.

Most of the vendors will continue to operate during the ice-cold winter months—with only the wine and fish vendors unlikely to participate.

The move to open a year-round is not unprecedented in Queens. Cagle said the market in Jackson Heights, which was once seasonal, now operates all year round.

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Center Cinemas likely to close Jan. 4, as owner rejects six-month lease extension

Sunnyside-Center-Cinemas-005-800x6002

Dec. 15, By Christian Murray

The owner of Sunnyside Center Cinemas has rejected the six-month lease extension that he was offered by the building owner last week —saying the extension is just too short.

Rudy Prashad, the owner of the Center Cinemas, said it was not worth hiring new staff or unpacking his equipment for six extra months. His last day remains January 4.

“My bags are packed and are pretty much sitting at the front door,” he said.

Prashad said that he mulled over the offer over the weekend but decided it didn’t make sense. “I’ve been making preparations, dealing with staff and it just doesn’t work for me to go back for that short of time.”

Prashad said that he had been trying to reach the owner for the past year to work out where he stood with his lease. He said that if he had been offered the extension three months ago then it would have worked out.

However, at this point, he would be only be willing to stay if he was offered at least 12 months.

Prashad said that movie theaters like his tend to make their money in summer and scrape by in winter. A six month lease would end just before the summer peak seasib kicks in.

Several residents are hoping that the property owner John Ciafone will offer Prashad a longer lease.

Many want to know if Ciafone is able to build the apartments above the theater without completely demolishing it.

A rally is scheduled to take place between 12:30 and 1:30 pm in front of the theater this Sunday and is being organized by local residents Ty Sullivan and Jon Storck.

“We hope it might help open up a discussion between the landlord and the theater owner,” Sullivan said, who believes the rally will be worthwhile.

Sullivan said the loss of the theater would hurt low-income families the most– since many would be unable to afford going to the big multiplex cinemas in Astoria or elsewhere.

The rally, Sullivan said, also aims to show that Sunnyside is a community and that people care.

“This is a neighborhood that is made up of independently-owned and family-owned businesses,” he said. “It’s family-friendly and affordable and we don’t want to lose that. We want to tell buildings owners that is who we are and that’s how we would like to remain.”

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said he supports those involved in the rally—such as Sullivan and Storck.

“I want them to know I am behind them and I will be amplifying their voices as their council member,” he said

Van Bramer encourages John Ciafone to come back to the negotiating table to see what can be done.

“I will be reaching out to John Ciafone and his family again,” he said.

save

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Two residents turning Sunnyside into a hub for comedy, with big show planned for Tuesday
Lindsay Goldwert

Lindsay Goldwert

Dec. 14, By Michael Florio

Two Sunnyside comedians are turning the neighborhood into a go-to place for comedy.

Comedians Lindsay Goldwert and Colin Samuel, who have formed Sunnyside Comedy, have already produced two local shows and are about to put on their biggest event yet.

The two will be hosting “The X-mas Comedy Show” at Murphy’s, located at 48-20 Skillman Avenue, this Tuesday (Dec. 16) and are bringing nine comedians to the venue. Tickets will be  $10 and will be sold at the door. The show starts at 8:30 pm.

“We have put a lot of work into the Christmas show and are excited about the comedians who we have performing,” Goldwert said. (see line up below)

The two teamed up and began hosting comedy shows together this fall, after meeting at an open mic night in Manhattan over the summer.

“We both live in Sunnyside and Colin told me he was trying to put together comedy shows in the neighborhood,” Goldwert said. “It is a lot of work for one person and when he asked me to join, I did.”

Samuel hosted one show over the summer prior to teaming up with Goldwert. However, their first show as a duo, took place in October at The Dog and Duck on Skillman Ave.

The two have hosted two shows since– another at The Dog and Duck and one at Marlene Tavern.

Goldwert said that each venue provides attendees with a different experience. The Dog and Duck is a more casual venue, where people can enjoy a drink and the show, while Marlene Tavern has the classic comedy club feel to it.

Goldwert has been doing standup for a year, while Samuel has been in the business for some time.

They decided to host shows in Sunnyside to help promote local businesses, while also fill a void in the community.

“We love living here and wanted to bring comedy to the community,” she said. “There is a growth of comedy in LIC and Astoria and we wanted to add to that by bringing comedy shows to Sunnyside.”

“We like the idea of bringing something new to the neighborhood,” she added.

The pair aims to promote local businesses by having them sponsor shows. Each show will feature giveaways, with prizes provided by local bars and businesses.

Goldwert said Sunnyside Comedy plans to host three shows a month, with each show being free unless otherwise noted. Two shows a month will be at The Dog and Duck with one at Marlene Tavern.

For more information on Sunnyside Comedy, go to Twitter at @ComedySunnyside or Facebook: https://facebook.com/puttinonthebliss

Photo source: ‘It’s in Queens’

The event was originally planned to take place at Marlene’s Tavern but has been changed to Murphy’s at 48-20 Skillman Avenue.

NOTE: the event is taking place at Murphy's Lobster Grill at 48-20 Skillman Avenue

NOTE: the event is taking place at Murphy’s Lobster Grill at 48-20 Skillman Avenue

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Sunnysiders plan rally and start petition drive to save Center Cinemas– as landlord offers six-month extension

Sunnyside-Center-Cinemas-005-800x6002

Dec. 11, By Christian Murray

A petition has formed and a rally is being planned as local residents try to save Sunnyside Center Cinemas from the wrecking ball.

An online petition started Wednesday that has already garnered more than 240 signatures. Meanwhile, Ty Sullivan and Jon Stork, two local activists, are already planning to hold a rally outside the theater that is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 21 (details to come).

The petition—called “Save the Sunnyside Theater”– is addressed to the property owner/developer John Ciafone. It reads, in part, “Save the movie theater from demolition and have a new lease extended.”

Meanwhile, Sullivan is reaching out to the media and various community groups as he plans the rally. He is designing posters, fliers and launching a social-media campaign to generate community interest.

This activism comes at a time when Ciafone has just offered the owner of the theater Rudy Prashad a six month extension to his lease. After the six months, he would operate on a month-to month basis.

Prashad, however, seeks a longer lease claiming that he has organized movers and contractors to remove all the seats from the theater as required. Furthermore he has already told his staff about the upcoming closure.

“I don’t want to be in the same position in six months time where I am now,” Prashad said. “Then I’m operating on a month-to-month basis when I can be kicked out any time.”

“I need a 5 year lease–although I would take something in between,” Prashad said. However, he has not dismissed Ciafone’s offer at this point.

Prashad said that he has been surprised by the community’s desire to keep the theater going. “It shows people have a passion for the community and that they are looking out for their children and their neighbor’s children.”

Ciafone said that he decided to offer Prashad an extension since he still has a lot of work to do before he can start construction. Asked if he could do better than offer Prashad a 6 month extension—he said “that’s the best I can do.”

Ciafone plans on building a 5-7 story building with about 60-70 apartments—with about 20 percent of those units being “affordable”. The building will also have ground floor retail and a community center on the second floor.

The building requires new foundations since it was not constructed with 5-7 stories in mind. Therefore, Ciafone said, the theater has to be demolished. Furthermore, there will be a need for underground parking.

“When I finished we could invite him [Prashad] back,” he said.

Ciafone was nonchalant about the “Save the theater” petition. “I could get a petition going with just as many signatures from people wanting affordable housing,” he said.

“The likely closure of the theater is a reflection of changing times,” said Community Board 2 Chair Pat O’Brien. “You want to see small businesses prevail and they are the backbone of the economy but if they don’t have lease then there is not much you can do.”

O’Brien said it is a shame what’s happening since the cinema is one of the last vestiges of old-fashion entertainment in the area. He said there used to be several theaters in the neighborhood at one time and also the Sunnyside Gardens Arena.

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Fire rips through four Woodside stores
(google maps)

(google maps)

Dec. 11, By Michael Florio

A massive two-alarm fire erupted inside a Woodside store yesterday morning, requiring more than 100 firefighters to put out the flames, according to an FDNY spokeswoman.

The fire erupted at Don’s Professional Services, located at 38-05 69th Street, near Roosevelt Ave, just before 11 am on Wednesday morning. It then spread to three neighboring stores through a shared attic, according to the FDNY.

The fire was brought under control just before 11:45 am.

There were no reported injuries and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

 

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Lonely Planet names Queens as the best place to visit in US next year
Long Island City waterfront

Long Island City waterfront

Dec. 10, Staff report

The borough of Queens was selected as the best tourism destination in the United States for 2015 by Lonely Planet, a leading news outlet that covers the travel industry.

Queens drew praise for its eating and drinking scene (including the four microbreweries that opened over the last 18 months), amazing diversity, high-quality hotels, exciting events, and unique, enchanting neighborhoods, such as art-filled Long Island City and surfboard-friendly Rockaway.

“Nowhere is the image of New York as the global melting pot truer than Queens. Browse New York’s biggest Chinatown in Flushing, shop for brilliantly colored saris in Jackson Heights, and inhale the heady aromas of coffee and hookahs in Astoria,” reads Lonely Planet’s editorial in its Best in the US list for 2015.

“The incomparable array of world cuisines makes Queens a destination for food lovers from all parts of New York City. For your art fix, ogle the new upgrades to the Queens Museum and the Museum of the Moving Image, look for the new Emerging Artists Festival (conceptionevents.com) in Long Island City, and stroll Astoria’s new 24-block arts district (kaufmanartsdistrict.org). If you prefer sand and surf to paint and canvas, head to Rockaway.”

Warm-Up_photo1“Don’t miss the prime eating and drinking scene that has popped up around the boardwalk — this is no cruddy carnival food: think succulent fish tacos, wood-fired pizzas, and wine bars.”

Western South Dakota came in second on Lonely Planet’s list. The other members of the top 10 were, in order, New Orleans (LA), the Colorado River, North Conway (NH), Indianapolis (IN), Greenville (SC), Oakland (CA), Duluth (MN), and the Mount Shasta Region (CA).

“I have always argued that we have the best hotels, restaurants, cultural organizations, parks, sporting events, and residents in the world and that our prices are very competitive for tourists,” said Seth Bornstein, executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation, after the announcement.

“It’s simply wonderful that Lonely Planet agrees, and our hospitality industry is waiting with open arms for all visitors. Come, you’ll like it.”

The annual top 10 destinations list is determined by Lonely Planet’s authors and editorial team to help travelers add to their wish lists for the coming year. Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has the biggest market share for guidebook sales in the world, having published more than 130 million guidebooks in its history. The media company also operates an award-winning website and a suite of mobile and digital travel products.

For the write up on Queens, please click here.


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Local opposition mounts against building on Sunnyside Yards, petition forms

PRR-Sunnyside-Yard_viewW-1955_ArtHuneke

Dec. 9, By Christian Murray

Call it a preemptive strike.

A group of residents have put forward a petition voicing their opposition to the development of the Sunnyside Yards.

A 12-person committee—which includes the President of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce—started the petition last week.

The petition, which is both online and on paper, expresses their concern that plans are in motion to deck the yards. The petition, which is addressed to elected officials, has already generated about 100 signatures.

Their petition comes in the wake of former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff’s New York Times op-ed calling for the construction of a 3.1 million square foot convention city to be built over the yards, accompanied by nearly 14,000 resident units—of which 7,000 of them would be ‘affordable.”

Furthermore, in October, the chairman of Amtrak, Anthony Coscia, said that the company was considering developing sections of the Yards. The company said that it might turn to investors as early as spring and that it had been in talks with the mayor’s office over its use.

But the petitioners say not so fast.

“Sunnyside and Long Island City’s infrastructure cannot stand what we have now,” the petition reads.

“The subways are overcrowded and our school district is one of the most overcrowded in New York City. There are already 5,000-10,000 units coming to LIC/Sunnyside as it is – and residents don ‘t know how the area will be able to absorb these incoming residents. Therefore, the idea of building over the yards – bringing more residents and commercial tenants – will be an extreme burden on all of us.”

Furthermore, the petition reads: Our “biggest concern of all is that we residents seem be shut out of the process and an inner circle is making all these decisions.”

Patricia Dorfman, one of the committee members and the author of the petition, said: “We are residents and taxpayers. This radical change in land use where we live should not happen behind closed doors and affordable housing should not be used as a Trojan Horse.”

Link: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/124/232/303/please-do-not-build-over-the-sunnyside-yards/?cid=FB_TAF

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Fire rips through four Woodside stores
(google maps)

(google maps)

Dec. 11, By Michael Florio A massive two-alarm fire erupted inside a Woodside store yesterday morning, requiring more than 100 firefighters to put out the flames, according to an FDNY spokeswoman. The fire erupted at Don’s Professional Services, located at 38-05 69th Street, near Roosevelt Ave, just before 11 am on Wednesday morning. It then spread to three neighboring stores through a shared attic, according to the FDNY. The fire was brought under control just before 11:45 am. There were no reported injuries and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.  
Lonely Planet names Queens as the best place to visit in US next year
Long Island City waterfront

Long Island City waterfront

Dec. 10, Staff report The borough of Queens was selected as the best tourism destination in the United States for 2015 by Lonely Planet, a leading news outlet that covers the travel industry. Queens drew praise for its eating and drinking scene (including the four microbreweries that opened over the last 18 months), amazing diversity, high-quality hotels, exciting events, and unique, enchanting neighborhoods, such as art-filled Long Island City and surfboard-friendly Rockaway. “Nowhere is the image of New York as the global melting pot truer than Queens. Browse New York’s biggest Chinatown in Flushing, shop for brilliantly colored saris in Jackson Heights, and inhale the heady aromas of coffee and hookahs in Astoria,” reads Lonely Planet’s editorial in its Best in the US list for 2015. “The incomparable array of world cuisines makes Queens a destination for food lovers from all parts of New York City. For your art fix, ogle the new upgrades to the Queens Museum and the Museum of the Moving Image, look for the new Emerging Artists Festival (conceptionevents.com) in Long Island City, and stroll Astoria’s new 24-block arts district (kaufmanartsdistrict.org). If you prefer sand and surf to paint and canvas, head to Rockaway.” Warm-Up_photo1“Don’t miss the prime eating and drinking scene that has popped up around the boardwalk — this is no cruddy carnival food: think succulent fish tacos, wood-fired pizzas, and wine bars.” Western South Dakota came in second on Lonely Planet’s list. The other members of the top 10 were, in order, New Orleans (LA), the Colorado River, North Conway (NH), Indianapolis (IN), Greenville (SC), Oakland (CA), Duluth (MN), and the Mount Shasta Region (CA). “I have always argued that we have the best hotels, restaurants, cultural organizations, parks, sporting events, and residents in the world and that our prices are very competitive for tourists,” said Seth Bornstein, executive director of the Queens Economic Development Corporation, after the announcement. “It’s simply wonderful that Lonely Planet agrees, and our hospitality industry is waiting with open arms for all visitors. Come, you’ll like it.” The annual top 10 destinations list is determined by Lonely Planet’s authors and editorial team to help travelers add to their wish lists for the coming year. Started in 1973, Lonely Planet has the biggest market share for guidebook sales in the world, having published more than 130 million guidebooks in its history. The media company also operates an award-winning website and a suite of mobile and digital travel products. For the write up on Queens, please click here.
Local opposition mounts against building on Sunnyside Yards, petition forms
PRR-Sunnyside-Yard_viewW-1955_ArtHuneke Dec. 9, By Christian Murray Call it a preemptive strike. A group of residents have put forward a petition voicing their opposition to the development of the Sunnyside Yards. A 12-person committee—which includes the President of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce—started the petition last week. The petition, which is both online and on paper, expresses their concern that plans are in motion to deck the yards. The petition, which is addressed to elected officials, has already generated about 100 signatures. Their petition comes in the wake of former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff’s New York Times op-ed calling for the construction of a 3.1 million square foot convention city to be built over the yards, accompanied by nearly 14,000 resident units—of which 7,000 of them would be ‘affordable.” Furthermore, in October, the chairman of Amtrak, Anthony Coscia, said that the company was considering developing sections of the Yards. The company said that it might turn to investors as early as spring and that it had been in talks with the mayor’s office over its use. But the petitioners say not so fast. “Sunnyside and Long Island City's infrastructure cannot stand what we have now,” the petition reads. “The subways are overcrowded and our school district is one of the most overcrowded in New York City. There are already 5,000-10,000 units coming to LIC/Sunnyside as it is – and residents don 't know how the area will be able to absorb these incoming residents. Therefore, the idea of building over the yards - bringing more residents and commercial tenants – will be an extreme burden on all of us.” Furthermore, the petition reads: Our “biggest concern of all is that we residents seem be shut out of the process and an inner circle is making all these decisions.” Patricia Dorfman, one of the committee members and the author of the petition, said: "We are residents and taxpayers. This radical change in land use where we live should not happen behind closed doors and affordable housing should not be used as a Trojan Horse." Link: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/124/232/303/please-do-not-build-over-the-sunnyside-yards/?cid=FB_TAF
Sunnyside’s movie theater to close next month
Sunnyside-Center-Cinemas-005-800x600 Dec. 7, By Christian Murray Sunnyside Center Cinemas will be closing its doors on January 4 after screening movies in the neighborhood for decades, the theater's owner said Sunday. Theater owner, Rudy Prashad, said he was informed last week that John Ciafone, whose wife owns Broadway Stages, was not renewing his lease. His lease ends December 31 but he has been given to Jan. 10 to clear out of the building. Prashad said that he had been going back and forth with the property manager for months as he wondered what was happening to his lease. “They strung me along,” Prashad said, “But I guess it’s their building and they are free to do what they want.” “It is a very sad day,” Prashad said. “I was hoping that the cinema would stay and one day be landmarked.” Prashad said that he also felt sorry for some of the families in the neighborhood who will have to pay double to go to the movies elsewhere. “We haven’t changed our prices for years-- $5.00 for children and seniors, while $7.50 for adults,” he said. There is also the ‘kid combo,’ he said, which consists of a popcorn, soda, candy and a movie for $10. Before 5 pm each day, adults only pay $5. Prashad said that he had no ill will toward Ciafone and Broadway Stages. “I was disappointed with Dime Bank [the previous owner],” he said. “I was negotiating a 20-year lease with them and then they suddenly sold it.” Dime sold the property to Ciafone for $6.65 million in December 2012. Prashad had owned the theater for nine years and believes there has been a theater at that location since the 1940s. He said that he had been paying between $13,000 and $14,000 in rent per month and was always on time. Prashad said the theater is one of the last independent theaters left in Queens. There is an independent theater in Kew Gardens, which happens to be owned by Prashad.  He thinks that theater might be the only independent theater left in Queens playing American movies. There are one or two others, he said, but they cater to ethnic groups. pj1Prashad said that he would like to thank the residents of Sunnyside for their patronage over the years and plans on showing a free movie before he leaves. With Center Cinemas gone, Ciafone is now trying to lease the air rights to a developer to build residential apartments above the ground-floor retail space. The owner plans to keep the retail space while leasing 52,000 square feet of air rights to a developer. The developer would have to pay a ground lease of $750,000 per year for those rights. Ciafone plans to keep PJ Horgan’s as an on-going tenant, said Evan Daniel, a broker for Modern Spaces, which has the real estate listing. Daniel said that PJ Horgan’s is the only business with an existing lease and is well regarded by the community. When Ciafone purchased the building, PJ Horgan’s, Dime Bank, dentist Dr. Arthur Kubikian, and Center Cinemas were all tenants. PJ Horgan’s, which rents 1,300 square feet of space, has a lease through June 2018. “They are a good tenant that pay market rent,” Daniel said. The ground-floor retail space is likely to be completely refurbished, Daniel said. However, nothing will change that will impact PJ Horgan’s business. Correction: The property is owned by John Ciafone whose wife owns Broadway Stages-- not Broadway Stages the entity. Please Note: Center Cinemas and Modern Spaces advertise with this site  
New CB2 chairman elected after vigorous debate, as Conley steps aside
Joe Conley and Pat O'Brien (seated)

Joe Conley and Pat O'Brien (seated)

Dec. 5, By Christian Murray The Chairman of Community Board 2 Joe Conley received a standing ovation at last night’s community board meeting after officially announcing that he was stepping down. Conley said that after serving two decades as chairman that it was time to move on. “It’s been a great honor to be the voice of the board,” he said. “I have had a good run…and made life-long friends with the people in this room,” he added, as he began to choke up. Conley had notified board members two days prior to the meeting that he was resigning. The timing of the announcement came as a great surprise to many and was the cause of much debate, since last night was the date for the board’s annual elections. Several members said that they were caught off guard by Conley’s sudden announcement and wanted to delay the elections a month in order for all the board members to evaluate whether they wanted to run. Lisa Deller, the secretary of the board, however, presented a slate of candidates to take the executive board positions. All but one was on the executive board last year. The slate was Patrick O’Brien, chair; Stephen Cooper, first vice chairman; Denise Keehan-Smith, secretary; Lisa Deller, second vice chair; and Diane Ballek, treasurer. Conley said that board members were notified in October that they could put their names on the ballet to run--but no one had expressed interest. Furthermore, he said, people were free to nominate themselves for those spots last night. “We have looked for nominations and this is a very open process,” Conley said. However, some members said that the departure of Conley completely changed the course of the election. Others were perplexed why Conley only gave the board two days notice prior to the election. Sheila Lewandowski said that board members should be given time to decide whether they want to put them themselves on the slate. She, like many, advocated for postponing the vote. “We have had 2 days and many [board members] are not here to consider this. I think it would be responsible to be thoughtful and wait…this is big.” O’Brien said he was willing to put off the election a month if it made the board more comfortable. “I don’t want to walk into a situation …where there is a division among people,” he said. There were, however, several strong advocates who wanted the vote to take place last night. “If you want to run put you name forward now,” said one board member. The board put it to a vote to determine whether the election should be held last night. The majority won by an unofficial count of 19 for and 15 against. The election was then held and a slim majority voted in the slate. O'Brien was announced the new chair. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said this morning that he looks forward to working with O’Brien. “He is a good person with strong experience. I worked with him when I was on the board.” However, he said, he didn’t see the harm in waiting another month for people to think about the vote. “I m not sure it would have changed the result but the process is important,” he said. “How you come to decision-- especially if people are divided –is as important as the decision itself.” “Normally you would have a unanimous vote for these positions,” Van Bramer said. However, I think the “people who voted no were voting against the process.”  
Police arrest second man wanted for beating and robbing 81-year-old Sunnysider
Willliam Eichhorn

Willliam Eichhorn

Dec. 5, By Christian Murray The second suspect wanted for punching and robbing an 81-year-old Sunnyside resident on Oct. 26 at a Chase ATM has been arrested. Terrel Balanding, a 27-year-old from the Bronx, was arrested Dec. 3 and was charged with two counts of robbery. The arrest comes just one day after Thomas Fullwood, 29, was arrested for the same crime. Balanding and Fullwood approached William Eichhorn, 81, while he was withdrawing funds from the ATM machine at the Chase Bank branch at 46-10 Queens Boulevard. The men punched him in the face and then stole $100 in cash and his debit card while he was on the ground.
Joe Conley, Community Board 2 Chair, is stepping down
Joe Conley (third from left)

Joe Conley (third from left) at groundbreaking

Dec. 4, Christian Murray Joe Conley, the long-serving Community Board 2 chair, is stepping down. Multiple sources said that Conley, who has been chair for over 25 years, will be making the announcement tonight when Community Board 2 has its full monthly meeting. Conley’s departure from the community board will result in the biggest shake up the board has seen in nearly 30 years. For the past decade, the same leadership structure has been in place: Conley as chairman; Steve Cooper, first vice chairman; Patrick O'Brien, second vice chairman; Lisa Deller, secretary, and Diane Ballek, treasurer Tonight the board will be holding an election for all of these positions and at the very least there will be a new chairperson. At this point, the field is wide open, according to sources. Board members were only alerted to Conley’s departure yesterday. “It will be an interesting transition,” said Lisa Deller, who is the head of the land use committee. “Joe has contributed a lot. He has given his heart and soul to the board, and whether people are for or against what he has done…it should not be forgotten that he has gone above and beyond.” Joe-Conley-250x2501Conley could not be reached for comment. Conley, who has always been the recipient of great praise from his fellow board colleagues, was instrumental in turning the prostitute-ridden Long Island City into the thriving neighborhood it is today. He was also was the chair during the Sunnyside-Woodside rezoning. The chairperson has significant control of the board. He/she decides which members sit on what committees and who chairs them. The chair is also the one who runs the monthly meetings and is the public face of the board. While the community board is deemed advisory, it does have significant influence-- particularly on land use, liquor license and transportation issues. The new chair will take the helm at a time when there are many ongoing issues. There is the ongoing debate about backyard seating in Long Island City, the construction of affordable housing, continued development and the possible construction over the Sunnyside Yards.
Put on your santa suit, Sunnyside Boulevard Bars to host Santathon Bar Crawl
2012 Sanathon

2012 Santathon

Dec. 3, By Christian Murray Hundreds of Santas are going to be lining the streets of Sunnyside this Saturday as they participate in the neighborhood’s third annual Santathon/pub-crawl. Eleven bars along—or near—Queens Blvd are putting on the festive event, where attendees will go from bar-to-bar and will be able to buy $4 beers. Participants will be required to pay $10 for a wristband and wear a Santa costume (or at least a Santa hat) to get the $4 beers. The $10 wrist bands can be bought at any of the bars—from now until the time of event. The proceeds will be donated to children’s charities to buy toys for needy kids this holiday season. The bars are also accepting toys and monetary donations from now until Christmas. The pub crawl will begin at 3:00 pm and go until late.  Participants are able to begin their journey at any of the bars but must then follow the order of Santa’s route (see map). The participating bars are: Arriba Arriba, Bar 43, Maggie Mae's, Bliss Street Station, The Courtyard Ale House, McGuinness's Saloon, Molly Blooms, Sidetracks, Jack's Fire Dept., The Gaslight and PJ Horgan's. Last year’s Santathon raised more than $10,000 in monetary and new toy donations. “We really want this to be a big event, ” said Nick Murphy, the co-owner of Bar 43 & Grill. “We are all coming together to put on a great community event that will help raise money for charity.” The eleven bars are part of what’s known as Sunnyside Boulevard Bars, a group that was formed in 2012 and has held several events, such as the St. Patrick’s Day Music Festival. The organization has raised more than $25,000 for charity since its inception. The beneficiaries have included Sunnyside/Woodside Boys & Girls Club and the 51st Street Fire Station (Engine 325/Ladder 163). Details Saturday, Dec. 6 Time: 3 pm
Map

Map

Police arrest man for beating and robbing 81-year-old Sunnysider, cops closing in on second suspect
Willliam Eichhorn

Willliam Eichhorn

Dec. 3, By Christian Murray One of the two men wanted for punching and robbing an 81-year-old Sunnyside resident on Oct. 26 at a Chase ATM has been arrested. Thomas Fullwood, a 29-year-old from the Bronx, was arrested Dec. 2 and was charged with two counts of robbery. The police are still searching for the other suspect. Fullwood and his accomplice approached William Eichhorn. 81, while he was withdrawing funds from the ATM machine at the Chase Bank branch at 46-10 Queens Boulevard. One of the men punched him in the face and then they both stole $100 in cash and his debit card while he was on the ground. According to sources, Fullwood has provided information to the police identifying the second individual involved in the attack.
The police are still searching for this suspect

The police are still searching for this suspect

Demolition permits filed as section of Greenpoint Ave. to be bulldozed
closing1 Dec. 2, By Christian Murray Demolition permits have been filed with the Building Dept. to demolish three Greenpoint Avenue stores and the accompanying upstairs dwelling units. The permits, which were filed and approved Nov. 18, provide the developer with the go-ahead to knock down the buildings that were occupied by King Boulevard, SSS Video and Azteca Restaurant. The filings do not state what the developer has in mind for the site. This strip of real estate (47-16 to 47-24 Greenpoint Ave.) was sold by Greisman Property in October to AB Capstone Development, a development company, for  $4.35 million. Mike Perez, who owned King Boulevard for 31 years, closed down his store at the end of October. closing
Doctoroff, who calls for developing Sunnyside Yards, doesn’t understand Western Queens, Van Bramer and residents say
PRR-Sunnyside-Yard_viewW-1955_ArtHuneke Dec. 2, By Christian Murray The drum beat to develop the Sunnyside Yards continues with the latest call to build on it coming from the former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff. Doctoroff, in a New York Times op-ed piece that ran Sunday, said that the city needs to build a 3.1 million square foot convention center and that Sunnyside Yards would be the ideal place for it. The center could also be accompanied, he wrote, by nearly 14,000 residential units of which 50 percent would be affordable. The op-ed stated that Long Island City is a great location for this development since it is “one of the most convenient, transit-friendly areas in the city, served by eight subway lines.” The idea is that the new convention center would replace the Javits Center, which he deemed too small. However, residents and local officials argue that the concept just doesn’t make sense and that the neighborhood’s infrastructure in terms of schools, parks and subways are already stretched. Many are unsure how the neighborhood will absorb all the new residents coming to the area, with 5,000-10,000 units coming online in the next few years. “I found some of [Doctoroff’s op-ed] patronizing,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer who opposes decking over the yards. “It revealed to me somewhat of a Manhattan elitist view of Queens.” Van Bramer said that Doctoroff might find the neighborhood transit friendly when he looks at the area on a map. However, he said, people who live here know that the No. 7 train is not reliable and there are a lot of delays. During morning rush hour, people often struggle to get on at the Jackson Ave/Vernon Blvd. Station, he said. At the October Community Board 2 meeting, when the idea of studying the yards was raised, several board members wanted to know how the area will cope with all the Court Square/Queens Plaza development coming online—let alone the yards. Meanwhile, a petition has just been formed, calling on the city not to allow the site to be developed. Van Bramer viewed Doctoroff’s push for avoidable housing to be disingenuous—arguing that this an argument used to buttress his case to “plop a mega convention in our neighborhood.” “I am incredibly supportive of affordable housing,” Van Bramer said, but using affordable housing as a tool is “offensive.”
Councilman Van Bramer

Councilman Van Bramer

Furthermore, Doctoroff in his op-ed, said that the Yards represented a “nasty scar through the heart of Queens.” Van Bramer took exception to this viewpoint. “I have lived in these neighborhoods my entire life and it is not a scar. It’s a patronizing to say we have this awful thing and that they have to come here and make it better.”- However, Doctoroff is not alone in suggesting the Yards should be developed. In October, the chairman of Amtrak, Anthony Coscia, said that the company was considering developing sections of the Yards. The company said it could turn to investors as early as spring and that it had been in talks with the mayor’s office over its use. Representatives for the mayor said at the time that the site could be used to advance the mayor's affordable housing goals. Meanwhile, the Daily News reported that the Department of City Planning Commissioner Carl Weisbrod said at a meeting Monday that the he and the Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen are studying the site. However, nothing is planned at this point, Van Bramer said. However,” I think we need to remain vigilant because it is in the minds of some wealthy and powerful people,” he said. “We need to watch out and be careful.” “What we really need are more schools, green space and better transportation—not a convention center,” Van Bramer said.

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