Two men rob Sunnyside grocery store at gunpoint

Sunnyside Garden Grocery

August 1, By Christian Murray

Two men entered into a Sunnyside grocery store this morning—one displaying a firearm– and took off with about $2,000 in cash, according to police.

The men entered Sunnyside Gardens Market, located at 46-01 Skillman Avenue, at about 2:45 am and demanded cash before telling an employee to get down on the floor.

The men fled with the cash on foot toward 39th Avenue. The police are still investigating.

 

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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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Sunnyside Restaurant Week kicks off Monday
Salt & Fat

Salt & Fat

Oct. 19, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All this for $25.

Takesushi: All this for $25.

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

meters

Oct. 17, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on Park Smart click here

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

43-15 46th Street

Oct. 16, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for the Worst Landlord List

Click here to look up the violations in any building

 43-15 46th Street.

43-15 46th Street.

 

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Application period for Hunters Point South has begun

Hunters Point South building

Oct. 15, By Christian Murray

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

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

Those interested have until December 15 to submit an application.

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

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

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

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

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

affordablerents

affordablehousingmoderate income

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Village Voice declares Salt & Fat Sunnyside’s best restaurant

saltfat-350x263

Oct 15, Staff Report

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

The write up starts as follows:

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

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

 

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Dumplings & Noodle eatery to open on 46th Street

Noodles

By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grand 99 Cent Store (2012)

Grand 99 Cent Store (2012)

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Cathy Nolan’s opponent for Assembly a long shot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Police Precinct 108 takes to the streets

Hennessy
Oct. 12, By Christian Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Rally to find driver responsible for Woodside Hit-and-Run

Van BramerFATAL

Oct. 12, By Christian Murray

Less than 48 hours after a hit-and-run incident on Queens Blvd, community leaders held a rally calling on the public for tips to find out who was responsible.

The rally was held at the intersection of 60th Street and Queens Blvd at the scene where an unidentified Hispanic man in his 30s was struck by a dark-colored Ford SUV around 1:30 a.m. Thursday while crossing the intersection. The driver fled the scene.

The victim was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition and—as of Friday afternoon—had yet to be identified.

“To leave someone lying in the street and offer no assistance is an outrage,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “Someone out there has a guilty conscience and should turn themselves in.”

“We are calling on anyone who has information on this case to call the authorities,” he said.

A large road sign had been placed on the side of Queens Blvd calling on motorists to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS if they had any information on the incident.

The rally, however, was also held to remind people that they must stop after a collision.

“You have to stop no matter how serious, whether it’s a fender bender or someone is lying in the street injured, you must stop. That is the law. And if you don’t you will be brought to justice,” Van Bramer said.

Van Bramer said that the recently passed Hit-and-Run Victims Act, which he sponsored, will go into effect December 29. With that law, a perpetrator of a hit and run can be fined up to $10,000–on top of any criminal charges imposed by the state.

Van Bramer said the new law is about increasing the public’s awareness that this will not be tolerated. “We want to change the culture. When people see the full weight of the law is coming down they might think twice,” he said.

Should the incident prove fatal, it would be the first traffic-related death this year in the 108 Police precinct, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City. This time last year, there had been 8 deaths, including five pedestrians.

Van Bramer said that the Vision Zero campaign has been a large factor in keeping traffic deaths down, which has included the redesign of dangerous streets to greater enforcement.

The 108 Precinct has issued 30% more speeding tickets this year compared to the same period in 2013. The police also doubled the number of drunk drivers arrests, with 112 people arrested so far this year compared to 52 for the same period in 2013.

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More Headlines

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

Van Bramer

Conley said that the Sunnyside Yards—which go through Long Island City and Sunnyside--are owned by government agencies. Therefore, this provides the community with an opportunity to negotiate with developers as to the number of affordable units that could be built. “Jackson Avenue and 21st Street would be our jumping off point,” Conley said, adding that the study would then look toward Thomson Avenue and Queens Plaza. Van Bramer said that he too is in favor of affordable housing. However, he said, “Density is appropriate in some places and not others. I, for one, believe Sunnyside and Astoria are great low-density neighborhoods that should remain so.” Conley told the Daily News Tuesday that the Sunnyside Yards also divide the neighborhoods and indicated that the housing would draw them closer. “Right now you have this scar that runs down the community,” he told the News. Van Bramer disagreed with this view. “I wouldn’t characterize these neighborhoods as having a scar running through them…and I don’t believe the neighborhoods are unreachable.”    
Police seek help in locating serial bank robber, suspect allegedly hit Chase bank in Sunnyside in July
Oct. 8, By Christian Murray suspect Call him the 21st Century version of Willie Sutton or John Dillinger. The police are searching for a man who has robbed eight Queens banks—and attempted to rob two others—in the past 2 1/2 years. The banks have been scattered throughout the borough—covering Jackson Heights, Middle Village, Long Island City, Astoria, Flushing, East Elmhurst and Sunnyside. In total, the suspect has taken in about $50,000. One of the robberies occurred at the Chase Bank branch at 47-11 Queens Blvd, where the suspect approached a teller and passed her a note—before fleeing with $5,900 in cash. That incident occurred on July 25, 2014 (see story). The suspect’s modus operandi has been to enter a bank, pass a note and—on four occasions—display a firmarm. He also tends to hold a mobile phone up against his ear. No injuries have resulted from his spree. The suspect (see photo) is believed to be between 30 and 35 years old, approximately 6-feet-tall and weighing about 200 pounds. Police said he was last seen wearing a New York Yankees baseball hat and a button-down short sleeve shirt. He also had a light beard connected to a goatee, tinted eye glasses and a black wrist watch on his left wrist. The first incident occurred on July 17, 2012, when he allegedly entered into an Amalgamated Bank at 78-01 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights and took off with $1,450.suspect1 The latest robbery occurred Saturday, when the suspected entered Chase Bank at 69-55 Grand Avenue, passed a note and left with $5,170. Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
Oktoberfest comes to Skillman Avenue this Saturday
claret1Oct. 7, By Christian Murray It’s time to get out the lederhosen and the Bavarian hats. The Skillman Project, a group of bars and restaurants located on Skillman Avenue, is hosting its 3rd annual Oktoberfest this Saturday. There are eight bars/restaurants participating in the event—and attendees will be offered $3 beers until late. The event will start at 3pm and go until close. Several of the bars/restaurants will be serving German-themed food—with items such as Bratwurst and pretzels on offer. The Skillman Project has also hired a brass band that will be playing polka music at all the participating venues. The band will start at 6:30 at Claret Wine Bar and will then perform at the other bars/restaurants. “Oktoberfest is typically the most popular event that the Skillman Project puts on each year,” said Justin Costello, the manager at Claret. “It tends to bring in the largest crowd.” The Skillman Project also puts on an annual Mardi Gras and a summer event. To partake in Saturday’s Oktoberfest, attendees are required to register at Claret (46-02 Skillman) between 3 pm and 5 pm, and buy a $5 wristband. The wristband is needed in order to get the $3 beers at all eight restaurants/bars. The $5 proceeds will be donated to the local food pantry. Participating bars are: Dog and the Duck, Claret Wine Bar, Flynn’s Garden Inn, Quaint Bistro, Murphy’s Lobster Grill, The Globe, Aubergine Cafe and The Copper Kettle. Skillman_OktoberFest2014_Final  
Famous singer/songwriter a frequent performer at Sunnyside venue
JD @ teapot 6-22-2013Oct. 6, By Kim Brown Jim Dawson has sold out shows at the Bitter End, been signed by RCA Records and written a song recorded by Sesame Street’s Elmo. This Thursday he’s playing at The Globe Tavern’s Open Mic night on Skillman Avenue. “It really ups the quality of the night,” said host and guitarist Trevor Bowen. “He’s a pro, it’s the most wonderful feeling of support.” Dawson, who has been compared to James Taylor and Harry Chapin, was also touted as the next Bob Dylan after “Songman” was released in 1971. He is still a regular at venues like the Cutting Room. Newer fans know him because Elmo sang his “Simple Song” and older fans remember when he played Constitution Hall in Washington with The Birds. But when he comes to The Globe about once a month he’s just Jim, competing against baseball games and loud conversations like any other musician. There is no cover charge and he buys his own beer. “One of the reasons I love it is Trevor says ‘Here’s Jim’,” said Dawson, who lives in Manhattan and is Bowen’s vocal coach. “It doesn’t matter if I sold 200,000 records or zero. We’re all the same. We all got into this in the first place because it’s fun.” Dawson came to New York City in the late 1960s, after a stint in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Because he was signed by a record company pretty quickly, playing the open mic circuit was not something he had done very often. Despite distractions the last time he played The Globe--like an overturned tray of garlic knots and Derek Jeter’s last home at bat on TV—-he somehow managed to quiet a pretty raucous room. “When I’m doing it and I’m getting it right those are the most alive situations. I feel like I’m 18 or 19 years old again,” he said. Dawson, who lives on the Upper West Side, has released 15 CDs and albums. He is also known for writing the opening theme for a popular German soap opera. Money from that song allowed him to set up a home recording studio. The 1999 CD of his own live sessions in his apartment, “Therapy in Session: The Studio Concerts,” gained attention as an innovative way for musicians to release their work independently. Dawson’s website still attracts about 2,000 visitors a month from all over the world. Maybe he is able to arrest a noisy bar so well because he has been playing for nearly 50 years. Or maybe it’s because he tends to write Americana songs with lyrics that seem to have sprung from our own hopes and worries or that the gift to connect with the audience is just that, a gift. Whatever the reason, the audience quiets and connects with Dawson when he is behind the mic. “I want people to hear the words and I want them to hear what I have to say,” Dawson said. “But it is a bar for crissake.” Yet The Globe’s open mic is not all about Dawson, or even all about music. Poets, magicians, comedians and actors are welcome as well. “Pretty much anyone can show up, grab a beer and sign up,” said co-owner Rena Hershberger, who sings and performs at open mic night herself. “Everyone gets their 10 minutes.” Yet Bowen admits his ultimate goal is beyond that. He’d like the bar and the neighborhood to become a destination for original, quality music and he already sees that happening. “There have been really surprising musicians who have come and blown the socks off people,” he said. Ben Hope, who played the lead in the Broadway musical Once, and renowned Jazz guitarist Tosh Sheridan are both Globe regulars. Dawson is only adding to that momentum. “If people think ‘this guy Jim is going to show up’ and that will bring in two more people,” Dawson said, “that’s what I think is important. I’m just trying to be one of the guys on the team.” Open Mic Night at The Globe Tavern, located at 49-10 Skillman Avenue, will be held this Thursday and every other week.
Police swarm Sunnyside with plain clothes cops prior to arresting armed robber
Amazon-pharmacy-800x600 Oct. 5, By Christian Murray The police sent in more than a dozen plain clothes cops into the Sunnyside commercial district following two armed robberies at local drug stores early last month. The strategy led to an arrest of a Sunnyside man when the third Sunnyside pharmacy was targeted. The first robbery took place at Greenpoint Pharmacy, located at 40-26 Greenpoint Avenue, on Sept 2, when a masked man displayed a gun, and demanded Vicodin, before fleeing with Oxycodone. The second incident occurred on Sept 5 at Family Pharmacy, 45-60 43rd Street, when the masked perpetrator showed a gun and took off with prescription drugs. “We sent in about a dozen plain clothes [officers] to the area,” said Captain Brian Hennessy, the commanding officer at the 108 precinct, after the second incident. The officers were there to monitor the pharmacies in the neighborhood. “With two [robberies] taking place so close to each other, we knew there was a good chance he would hit the area again,” Hennessy said. Therefore, when a perpetrator went into Amazon Pharmacy, located at 43-10 Queens Blvd, on Sept 11 with a knife and demanded prescription drugs the police were in the area. The police received a 911 call with a description of the suspect and several officers were in the neighborhood to search for him. The perpetrator, Patrick McNamara, ran across Queens Boulevard and was arrested by Police Officer John Miszuk, a plain-clothes officer, who tracked him down just two blocks from the drug store. McNamara, 37, a Sunnyside resident was then identified by a witness. The police, however, have not been able to make an arrest on the first two robberies since the suspect was wearing a mask and was hard to identify. However, Hennessy noted, that there have been no drug store robberies since. McNamara was arrested on a variety of charges, such as robbery, criminal possession of a weapon and possession of a controlled substance. Greenpoint Pharmacy-475x355 FamilyPharmacy

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