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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Bostonian convicted of killing Berkeley Towers resident inside victim’s apartment
Berkeley Towners, 52-40 39th Drive

Berkeley Towners, 52-40 39th Drive

Jan. 29, By Christian Murray

A Boston man who murdered a Berkeley Towers resident inside the victim’s apartment was convicted yesterday of second degree murder, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.

Raymond Epps, 58, strangled and robbed Wayne Graves, 62, who was later found dead in his Woodside bathtub.

Graves fell victim to Epps in October 2011 after he allowed the Bostonian to stay with him in his 11th floor apartment, after meeting Epps at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

“The defendant repaid his benefactor’s generous act of kindness by strangling him in his own home and then stealing his credit cards,” said Queens District Attorney Richard A Brown.”His actions warrant a lengthy prison sentence to punish him and protect society.”

Epps, who has been in custody since December 2011, faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

Gerard Torre, a friend of Graves, testified that he visited the apartment on October 16, 2011, and that Epps introduced himself and said that he needed a place to stay and was staying a few nights with Graves.

Torre repeatedly called Graves the next day, but there was no answer. Then on Oct. 19, 2011, Torre went to the apartment and when no one answered he had the building’s super to open the door.

Graves’ body was discovered in the bathtub and his death was ruled as the result of strangulation.

Epps used Graves’ credit cards to buy a bus fare back to Boston. He then used the credit cards to buy merchandise from various stores, which he then used to trade for crack cocaine, according to the district attorney’s office.

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Bar 43 completes expansion, reopens tonight

bar43

prior to expansion

prior to expansion

Jan. 29, By Christian Murray

The expansion of Bar 43 & Grill is almost complete and the neighborhood sports bar is reopening tonight.

The bar, located at 43-06 43rd Street, has expanded into the space beside it, which was previously occupied by the Sunnyside Meat Market.

The bar now has room for 100 seats—up from 60. The number of TVs has also increased—from 11 to 23.

Nick Murphy and Mickey McCreesh, who own the establishment, started the expansion last summer. They gutted the old butcher shop and revamped it while keeping the bar open.

However, 10 days ago, they closed the bar down to smash the interior wall that had previously separated the two establishments.

Murphy said that their aim was to reopen in advance of the Super Bowl. While he had hoped the expansion would have been completed earlier this week he said he was glad the process was nearly over.

“We will still have a nice start going into [Super Bowl] weekend,” Murphy said.

The owners have put in a sliding door that can be used to cordon off the new space for private parties. However, for the most part, the door will remain open.

Murphy said that they are still awaiting their new exterior sign, which he anticipates will go up in the next few days.

Murphy said the bar will continue to operate the way it did before—offering sports, trivia, restaurant food and outdoor seating (in summer).

While Bar 43 is best-known as a sports bar, Murphy said it will continue to be a venue where families can go out for a quality dinner.

Nick Murphy

Nick Murphy

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Nolan announces that she wants Assembly Speaker job
Cathy Nolan

Cathy Nolan

Jan. 28, By Christian Murray

Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan announced today that she wants to be the next speaker of the New York State Assembly.

Nolan’s announcement came shortly after Sheldon Silver, the longtime leader of the assembly, agreed to give up the position he has held for 21 years as a result of federal corruption charges.

“I am formally announcing my candidacy for Speaker of the New York State Assembly,” Nolan wrote in a statement. “In my 30 year Assembly career I have conducted myself with honesty and integrity.”

Nolan would be the first woman to get the top job and it would result in Sunnyside and Long Island City being represented by two high-ranking officials: Nolan as speaker and Jimmy Van Bramer as New York City majority leader.

Nolan is one of a handful of names in the running for the speaker race, which include Majority Leader Joseph Morelle from Rochester, Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie, and Manhattan Assemblyman Keith Wright.

“Lost in the names that have been mentioned as potential candidates for Speaker is that of a woman,” Nolan wrote. “A woman has never served as Speaker of the Assembly.”

The letter indicated that Nolan would have little tolerance for legislators who sexually harassed their staffers.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that he had talked to Nolan this morning. “She is a very serious contender and I can tell you she is very determined,” he said. She is not just floating her name out there, she is moving on this very decisively.”

Nolan has served on several committees during her tenure.

“I have extensive experience working with constituencies from all over our state, and have indeed ushered many proposals through both the budget process and the legislative process. Whether the issue is education, labor, mass transit or women’s issues, I have been at the forefront of the process,” Nolan wrote.

Nolan also wrote that she has never had a second job while working in the assembly.

“The people of New York State has been my only job – whether it be my own constituents, school children or working men and women in our state.”

Nolan is likely to get the support from Joseph Crowley, the head of Queens Democratic Party that would bring her the full 18-member assembly bloc of Queens.

“It is time for this institution to return to the high standards that the people of our state rightfully demand and expect. I stand ready to work with my colleagues to do just that for the people of the State of New York. They deserve nothing less,” Nolan wrote.

The new speaker is expected to be picked on Feb. 10.

statementfromassemblywomannolan-1 by sunnysidepost

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Sunnyside digs out after ‘historic’ storm

Jan. 27, Staff Report

The storm may not have lived up to the hype but Sunnyside was still left with plenty of snow.
Here is some of the aftermath.

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sunnysidesnow

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Cathy Nolan is being discussed as the next Assembly Speaker

Registry

Jan. 26, Staff Report

The Queens Democratic machine is starting to flex its muscles and is calling for Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan to be next speaker should Sheldon Speaker be toppled, according to the New York Observer.

Top officials with the Queens Democratic Party are calling Assembly members in Queens, Manhattan and Nassau County to support Nolan, who has represented Ridgewood, Sunnyside and Long Island City since 1984.

“Queens is calling around, taking the temperature. They’re pushing Nolan,” an Albany Democratic source to the Observer. “They are floating her in case Shelly is no longer speaker so there’s a quick transfer of power and the body can move on.”

Sources say the Queens machine’s three top deputies–Michael Reich, Frank Bolz and Gerard Sweeney–are calling legislators to figure out what kind of support exists for a potential Nolan candidacy, the Observer reports.

Nolan is reportedly close to Silver and the teachers union, the Observer reports. Nolan has also forged an alliance with Mayor Bill de Blasio, who may look to exert his influence over the city’s Assembly delegation if Silver leaves his post.

Support from Joseph Crowley, the head of the Queens Democratic Party, could mean the full 18-member bloc of Queens lawmakers in the Assembly’s 150 member body would vote for her.

Nolan is regarded as one of the shrewder lawmakers in the body, the Observer reports, and would be the first woman ever elected speaker in New York, no small significance to female Assembly members.

Nolan could not be reached for this article.

Meanwhile, Silver, who is trying to hang onto the speaker role as he fights federal corruption charges, is expected to announce today that the assembly will be jointly run by five Assembly Democrats—one of whom is Nolan.

The other four are Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester), Herman “Denny” Farrell (D-Manhattan), Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn) and Carl Heastie (D-Bronx).

Silver’s move will be deemed temporary, so he can focus on fighting the charges of kickbacks and corruption. However, there is still uncertainty as to whether Silver will be forced out.

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City council signs off on Luke Adams Way
Luke Adams (middle)

Luke Adams (middle)

Jan. 24, By Christian Murray

The city council passed legislation this week that included the co-naming of 46th Street in honor of the late Luke Adams.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer submitted Adams’ name Thursday and provided his council colleagues with a brief description of what Adams was like. “[Adams] was affectionately known as the Mayor of Sunnyside and a terrific man who led our Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and did so much. In fact he helped build the Sunnyside Arch.”

The strip on 46th Street between Greenpoint Ave. and Queens Blvd (by the Arch) will be co-named Luke Adams Way.

Adams, who was a 40 year resident and local business owner, passed away from cardiac arrest on Nov. 10 at the age of 76. Just days after his death several people called out for a street to be named after him.

Adams, who was at one time the president of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, was well known by the community for his work with the Sunnyside Woodside Lions Club and SunnysideArtists.org. Furthermore, he was the first recipient of the Sunnysider of the Year award, an award that is now named after him.

The street naming ceremony is expected to take place in spring. However, Van Bramer, Community Board 2 and the Adams’ family will be coordinating the details.

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Two cops receive award for saving LaGuardia professor’s life
Officer Sarro and Officer Caldarera

Officer William Caldarera and Officer Corey Sarro

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray

Two officers from the 108th received an award this week after being deemed heroes for saving the life of a LaGuardia professor last month.

Police Officers Corey Sarro and William Calderera were on routine patrol on Tuesday, Dec. 23, when they discovered a professor on the pavement outside the college.

The elderly professor had suffered from a heart attack and was not breathing when the officers arrived. He was lying motionless and he did not have a heartbeat.

The two officers went into action.

Officer Sarro began performing chest compressions while Officer Calderea retrieved a defibrillator. After two attempts to resuscitate the professor, they were able to revive him. EMS then transported the professor to Elmhurst General Hospital in stable condition.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Mayor Bill de Blasio awarded the officers with a Proclamation on behalf of the city council for saving the professor’s life.

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Sunnyside resident organizing fun run, aims to raise funds for the homeless

POSTER

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray

A Sunnyside resident is organizing a one mile fun run as part of her quest to raise funds for the Coalition for the Homeless.

Leonor White, who is originally from Spain, is planning to hold the event on May 31st and has already received the permits necessary from the NYPD to use the streets.

The event will start outside Lou Lodati Park on 43rd Street. Runners will then follow Barnett Avenue through to 52nd Street before finishing at Skillman Ave (44th Street). White aims to get 250 runners to participate.

“I think that this is a great way to bring the community together,” White said. “It is also a way to remind everyone of how many adults and children are homeless.”

White plans to make the event a competitive race as well as a fun run.

She said that there will be an adult race as well as one for children (below 16 years of age) .

Meanwhile for most, she said it will be a fun run or walk.

White said that there will be a nominal charge to participate—expecting it to be between $5 and $10.

Those funds will go toward the homeless. She is currently reaching out to local businesses to see whether they will help sponsor the event, which would generate additional funds to go toward the homeless.

She encourages others to get involved in helping put the race together. She can be contacted at leonorwhite@hotmail.com

Race map

Leonor White (second from left

Leonor White (second from left)

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Former Dime Bank often used for TV/Movie shoots

IMG_0011(1)

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray

Signage that went up at the former Dime Bank location on Queens Blvd Wednesday indicated that a new bank tenant was moving in.

Exterior signs read: “Fisher Bank,” and inside there were posters advertising retirement accounts and current interest rates.

The bank, however, was fictional. It was decked out as part of a set for the TV show Person of Interest, a sci-fi crime drama series.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Two cops receive award for saving LaGuardia professor’s life
Officer Sarro and Officer Caldarera

Officer William Caldarera and Officer Corey Sarro

Jan. 23, By Christian Murray Two officers from the 108th received an award this week after being deemed heroes for saving the life of a LaGuardia professor last month. Police Officers Corey Sarro and William Calderera were on routine patrol on Tuesday, Dec. 23, when they discovered a professor on the pavement outside the college. The elderly professor had suffered from a heart attack and was not breathing when the officers arrived. He was lying motionless and he did not have a heartbeat. The two officers went into action. Officer Sarro began performing chest compressions while Officer Calderea retrieved a defibrillator. After two attempts to resuscitate the professor, they were able to revive him. EMS then transported the professor to Elmhurst General Hospital in stable condition. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Mayor Bill de Blasio awarded the officers with a Proclamation on behalf of the city council for saving the professor’s life.
Sunnyside resident organizing fun run, aims to raise funds for the homeless
POSTER Jan. 23, By Christian Murray A Sunnyside resident is organizing a one mile fun run as part of her quest to raise funds for the Coalition for the Homeless. Leonor White, who is originally from Spain, is planning to hold the event on May 31st and has already received the permits necessary from the NYPD to use the streets. The event will start outside Lou Lodati Park on 43rd Street. Runners will then follow Barnett Avenue through to 52nd Street before finishing at Skillman Ave (44th Street). White aims to get 250 runners to participate. “I think that this is a great way to bring the community together,” White said. “It is also a way to remind everyone of how many adults and children are homeless.” White plans to make the event a competitive race as well as a fun run. She said that there will be an adult race as well as one for children (below 16 years of age) . Meanwhile for most, she said it will be a fun run or walk. White said that there will be a nominal charge to participate—expecting it to be between $5 and $10. Those funds will go toward the homeless. She is currently reaching out to local businesses to see whether they will help sponsor the event, which would generate additional funds to go toward the homeless. She encourages others to get involved in helping put the race together. She can be contacted at leonorwhite@hotmail.com Race map
Leonor White (second from left

Leonor White (second from left)

Former Dime Bank often used for TV/Movie shoots
IMG_0011(1) Jan. 23, By Christian Murray Signage that went up at the former Dime Bank location on Queens Blvd Wednesday indicated that a new bank tenant was moving in. Exterior signs read: “Fisher Bank,” and inside there were posters advertising retirement accounts and current interest rates. The bank, however, was fictional. It was decked out as part of a set for the TV show Person of Interest, a sci-fi crime drama series. Bank Queens Blvd SunnysideThe bank has been used for many TV shoots. Scenes for the crime-series Blue Bloods staring Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg were shot there last year when a robbery was staged there as part of its 100th anniversary episode. John Ciafone, the owner of the building, said that he gets a lot of interest from TV and film crews looking to use the bank space. Late last year a small independent movie company also used the bank for it film. Ciaphone said the bank will be used for movie and TV sets up until the time the building is demolished to make way for apartments. The building is expected to be demolished in the second half of this year.
Tom Selleck in Sunnyside last year (Photo: George Burles)

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

Sunnyside: Van Bramer issues report card, focuses on schools, parks and traffic safety
Van Bramer Jan. 22, By Christian Murray Sunnyside, NY: When he’s asked the tough questions, he typically doesn’t duck for cover. What are your thoughts on 5Pointz? Private property, he responds. What do you think of building on the Sunnyside Yards? Absolutely not. Do you believe in term limits for community board members? Yes. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who darts from event-to-event, isn’t known for hedging his bets. Instead he is direct, fast on his feet, and very self assured. It’s this self confidence that leads him to release an annual self assessment—or report card—every January. It is a rare concept, as most council members don’t do it. “I like people to know what I’ve been doing,” Van Bramer often says, adding that people should know what their council person does. “I don’t want anyone asking: ‘Who is he? What does he do?” The 15-page report states in large font: “16,554 and counting” referring to the number of constituent cases Van Bramer and his staff have handled over the past five years. Furthermore, it said that in 2014, he served on six committees—including as chair of Cultural Affairs and Libraries-and had a “95.3% attendance record.” Van Bramer said that he has laid the groundwork for a number of Sunnyside/Woodside projects that will come to fruition this year. The $1. 3 million revamp of Thomas P. Noonan Park—located at the intersection of Greenpoint Avenue and 43rd Street-- is expected to be completed by summer; a new elementary school in Woodside will be opening in September; and further traffic safety measures are about to go into effect. The ribbon cutting at Thomas P. Noonan Park will come at a time when several other park developments are in the works. The Parks Department is currently drafting preliminary plans for a $2.2 million upgrade to Big Bush Park (behind the Big Six Towers) as well as the $500,000 revamp of Hart Playground on 37th Ave. in Woodside. Furthermore, a $500,000 upgrade to Windmuller park is coming that will cover the cost of building a new skateboard area, as well as fixing the band shell area that has been damaged by skateboarders performing their stunts. However, Van Bramer said that there has been one park project that has been delayed; the dog run at Doughboy Park, which is adjacent to PS 11. Van Bramer, who allocated $250,000 for the dog run in 2012, said that it is behind schedule due to the construction of a school annex at PS 11, which is located at 54-24 Skillman Avenue. He said that the contractor may need that the space where the dog run will go while construction takes place. Van Bramer takes pride in his quest to bring more classroom space—such as the the PS 11 annex-- to the area. “We have the first new school in 60 years coming to Woodside,” Van Bramer said, referring to PS 339 (located at 39-01 57th Street), which is scheduled to open in September with the capacity to serve 470 students. Meanwhile in Sunnyside, PS 343 (The Walter McCaffrey Campus) opened at 45-45 42nd St in September, which can cater to 434 students. In addition, construction of a 600-seat building at IS 125 (46-02 47 Ave.) is in the works, which is likely to lead to the removal of the trailers that are currently spread across the school grounds. “I will continue to build schools…and invest in parks,” Van Bramer said. Van Bramer secured $4.5 million in funding last year for the renovation and expansion of Thalia Spanish Theatre, which is located at 41-17 Greenpoint Avenue. The funds will double the theater’s seating capacity from 75 to 150. That section of Greenpoint Avenue in the past few years has been an area filled with vacancies. However, with the upgrade of the supermarket on the strip, the arrival of other businesses and the impending revamp of Thalia that section of Greenpoint Ave. is showing signs of improvement. Van Bramer said that the Sunnyside business district is on the upsurge in general. “There are very few vacant stores,” he said. He said that the acquisition—and likely development—of several parcels of property on Queens Blvd is largely the result of a booming real estate market coupled with Sunnyside being viewed as a vibrant and safe neighborhood. Meanwhile, a Woodside street cleaning program that involves two workers cleaning Roosevelt (51st to 61st Streets) and Woodside Avenues will continue. In addition, the graffiti cleanup program—where streets such as Broadway, Skillman Ave, 43rd Ave., Roosevelt Ave. and Woodside Ave. are cleaned monthly--has also been funded for this year. Slow zonesVan Bramer said that he has been working on many transportation issues since he has been in office—with the greatest number of constituent cases he and his staff have had to deal with being transportation concerns. While many of these issues have dealt with the No. 7 train and the MTA (which are overseen by the state), he hears from constituents about stop signs and dangerous driving. He said that he advocated for the 25 mph speed limit and slow zones within Sunnyside and Woodside. The slow zone in Sunnyside (south of Queens Blvd) is complete—with the Woodside (which includes northern Sunnyside) expected to be completed within the first half of this year. “People are concerned about the safety of their kids and families,” Van Bramer said, who put in an application with the Department of Transportation for the two slow zones. Van Bramer takes great pride in his strong support of Vision Zero—including his push for launching arterial slow zones on Northern and Queens Blvd. Furthermore, he received citywide attention for his “Justice for Hit and Run Victims Act,” which recently went into effect that imposes a hefty civil penalty on drivers who flee the scene of an accident. Van Bramer, who was named Majority Leader at the beginning of last year, also said that the position allows him to be a better advocate for the district. For instance, he said, he was in a better position to be able to reach out to the administration to let it be known that the Pepsi sign in Long Island City should not lose its place on the “Landmarks Preservation calendar.” Van Bramer is politically ambitious and does not hide it. He said that he will definitely run for city council again in 2017. He would not comment if he has speakership goals in mind—or whether a city-wide office would come after that. “The council speakership was determined over a period of a few weeks [in December 2013] so it is way too far away to start thinking about that,” Van Bramer said. “And then another four years after that…anything could happen by then.” For Van Bramer's report card, please click here: .
LIC: A strange caricature of a religious Muslim draws plenty of hate
anti-muslim Jan. 21, By Christian Murray A strange caricature of a religious Muslim accompanied by the words Je Ne suis Pas Charlie—has been placed on Jackson Avenue near the Court Square train station. The slogan Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie (I am Not Charlie) is a term adopted by some people following the massacre of 12 people at the French publication Charlie Hebdo. These people viewed Charlie Hedbo as a distasteful publication in the way it portrayed Muslims and other groups. The sign has several anti Muslim messages scribbled on it...such as "Islam stones women to death..." and "Muslims kill homo-sexuals." The messages are likely to have been written by a passerby who took exception to the poster. . muslim .
Two northern Italians open ‘Brick-Oven Pizzeria’ on Greenpoint Avenue
olivilla and samone

Salvatore Olivella and Simone Apollonio

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

Suspect from surveillance camera (NYPD)

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

Sunnyside Map 2014 010615 Crops by sunnysidepost

Sunnyside Directory 2014 010715 Crops by sunnysidepost

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

Daniel Dromm

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

ByLaws CB1 by sunnysidepost

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

Greenpoint Avenue

Jan. 13, By Christian Murray A piece of public art went up today on a large billboard on Greenpoint Avenue—between 45th and 46th Streets. The artwork has been installed by “14X48,” a non-profit organization that takes vacant billboards and then brightens them up through public art. The Greenpoint Avenue billboard is now covered with a collage of 80-plus posters that all start with the slogan “Keep Calm.” Each poster has a separate message, such as: “Keep Calm and Kiss Me,” or “Keep Calm and play basketball.” The slogan originated in Britain during WWII, with “Keep Calm and Carry On.” While the British did not use it, the slogan has since been used for marketing purposes. The artist, Margeaux Walter of Brooklyn, said that that she chose the slogan since it addressed the “overlap between individuality and commerce as well as the various guises of advertising and propaganda.” The artwork will be up for at least four weeks. The artist also invites people to tweet messages using the hashtag #keepcalm14x48. These tweets will be made into postcards and distributed along Greenpoint Avenue and at Ave. Coffee House. For more information, please click here.  

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