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New York City Budget Brings Park Restorations and Cleaner Streets

Van Bramer re-assures students about their after-school program (Photo: Office of Jimmy Van Bramer)

July 6, 2012 By Christian Murray

The New York City budget agreement not only ensured the continuation of after-school programs and library services, it also included a number of items that will help improve the Sunnyside and Woodside areas.

Many neighborhood groups were the recipient of city funds, while other funds were directed toward city services that will be used to upgrade neighborhood parks and clean streets.

“It was a good news budget for Sunnyside and Woodside,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “We saw some enormous victories.”

Van Bramer said his biggest victory was in helping to restore $150 million for the after-school and child-care programs. There were 10 separate after-school programs in his district that faced the axe, including those at PS 150, PS 199, PS 11, IS 125 and PS 12. The 10 programs, which cater to 1,700 children, were all saved.

“I wasn’t surprised these programs were restored,” Van Bramer said. “I made it an absolute priority,” he added. “I went to all those rallies and spoke to every person I needed too. The [Council] Speaker knows how passionate I am and my commitment to education.”

Meanwhile, Van Bramer, who is the council chairman of the cultural affairs and libraries committee, said he was pleased that he was able to help restore over $140m to libraries and arts in the budget.

The mayor had proposed cutting $26.7 million from the Queens Library system’s 2013 budget, which would have led to 600 layoffs across the borough and branch closures. However, most of the funds have been restored as part of the deal and the Sunnyside branch will remain open six days per week and the Woodside branch five days per week.

“The libraries were not going to close under my watch,” Van Bramer said, who was the head of external affairs at the Queens Public Library prior to being a councilman.

Van Bramer was able to allocate city funds for the following:

  • $650,000 for phase 2 of Noonan Playground, as he continues to restore the park for local residents. While Phase 1 deals with upgrading the playground & sprinkler system  (which includes erecting a plaque in honor of Thomas Noonan) , phase 2 will involve redoing the park house and bathroom, doing work on the basketball court and adding greenery.
  • $250,000 for improvements to Doughboy Park in Woodside, including an upgrade to the dog run.
  • $250,000 to reduce the amount of pigeon droppings under the No. 7 train at the 46th, 52nd and 61st Street subway stations. The MTA will put in place mitigation systems that include spiking, sound-based deterrents as well as low-voltage wire. These systems do not hurt the birds.
  • $600,000 for a new roof at the Sunnyside Library.
  •  $200,000 for security cameras that will be distributed throughout Sunnyside, Woodside and LIC.
  •  $40,000 to the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce.
  • $3,500 to Sunnyside Shines.
  • $40,000 to Woodside on the move.
  •  Sunnyside Community Service $80,000.
  • Funds to cultural centers such as $7,500 to Thalia Spanish Theater.
  • Sunnyside/Woodside Boys & Girls Club and $5,000
  •  Sunnyside Drum Corp $3,500.
  •  Northern Woodside Coalition Inc. $3,500.
  • Sunnyside Gardens Preservation Alliance, Inc., $3,500.
  • Van Bramer allocated funds to the “Doe Fund” in Woodside. The fund will be used to hire a maintenance team to clean up along Roosevelt Ave and 61st Street and surrounding streets.
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Sooz Perry

Wondering what the status is of the 1.4 million dollar make over for Lou Lodati Park. This was announced in 2010 but nothing has been started. Hope that’s still happening.


Hey Rick – I hate to say it, but bottom line, as a WHOLE, sunnyside dog owners suck and don’t care about the state of the neighborhood. I know you and all your fellow dog owners pick up and are responsible, etc, etc, but sorry, that doesn’t help me later today when I have to dodge piles of dog crap all along 44th Street.

Bliss St.

I’d ask us all to chip in and buy Roger_the_Shrubber a damn clue, but none of us has that much money so I won’t waste my time.

45th and Skillman

$250,000 to get rid of pigeon poop. Incredible. Think about that the next time you walk by the food cart under the 46th Street station or see some nutbag old lady feeding the pigeons on the Boulevard.

$250,000 for guano and we have to read every year how PS 150 is in danger of losing the after school program.

Rick Duro

When it comes to people that DONT pick up after their dogs, it’s actually a small # of dog owners. I know it seems like no one is picking up, but just do the math: if 10 people w/ dogs (out of 100’s) don’t pick up in an area, taking 2 dumps a day, that’s 140 piles-o-crap a week on the sidewalk. So, before anyone goes blasting ALL dog owners, in reality its a very small # of people that are doing the WRONG thing.

What’s interesting is that in walking my dog 4-5x a day I RARELY ever see anyone NOT pick up. This tells me 1 of 2 things. 1. the offenders walk their dogs @ a very late/odd hours or 2. These people only pick up when there are people around.

I am never shy about calling them out, on the rare times that I see them leave it there. I will nicely ask, “Hey, do you need a bag?” then they usually say “Oh, I musta forgot my bag” and then they pick it up. In all the times I have done that only one Ahole told me off. Then a buncha old Irish ladies started screaming @ him.

Dogs generally go in the same 2-3 spots, they are creatures of habit. So, the poo u always see in front of your house is probably from the same dog. If you see the person, and can’t get to them to tell them to pick up, leave a few nice printed notes on the poles on your block with their description, shaming them into doing the right thing. Ive done that a few times (“Why is there always poop on the sidewalk? The tall guy with the beagle never picks up”, etc), and have left them on the doors to the bldg they live in.) It’s quite effective. Gotta get vigilante on’em!

it’s just like litterers. MOST people throw their garbage away, it’s a small # that make the mess.

Here’s a mess for you: the ‘volleyball’ players who drink booze and gamble ALL DAY LONG in the park on Skillman and PEE ALL DAY long behind the trees in the park, leaving LAKES of URINE there…when the bathrooms are open……L A Z Y.


Yes, what happened to all the work that was supposed to be done in Lou Lodati Park? I’ve been hearing about it for three years now and nothing has happened. Does anyone know anything about it?


“Let’s all chip in and buy Mike Novak a dog.”

Best line on here in a long time.

Mike Novak

Sunnyside = Shitside. All those people who live south of Skillman think the Gardens is a dog toilet. Every day I have look at dogshit, smell dogshit, avoid dogshit, and clean up dogshit…and I don’t have a dog!!!

Sunnyside Post

Hi Peggy,

Yes, a plaque will be going up in honor of Thomas P Noonan as part of Phase 1. The article left it out for the sake of brevity.

I hope this helps.

Peggy G

Council Member Van Bramer said last fall that the Lcpl Thomas P. Noonan playground would have either a placque or statute in honor of Lcpl. Noonan so that the public would be able to learn why this playground was named after him. Is there any reason why this is not being mentioned or even done to honor him and his sacrifice?


Maybe now there’s money to clean up after the people who let their dogs crap on the sidewalks and/or money to arrest those punks, put the fear of God into them, then let them go.


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