Winners of this year’s participatory budgeting

2019 PB Announcement

Last Friday, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer announced the winners of this year’s participatory budgeting process.

In total, six projects were funded for a total of $2.05 million.

Thousands of residents ages 11 and up voted for their favorite projects from March 30 to April 7.

Here are the winning projects:

  • Tech Upgrades for Schools ($400,000)
    • 3,484 votes
    • Laptop carts, computers, projectors and interactive boards for PS 112, PS 150, PS 166 and the Academy of American Studies
  • Tech Upgrades for Libraries ($450,000)
    • 2,278 votes
    • Queens Public Library branches at Woodside, Broadway, LIC, Sunnyside and Court Square will each receive $90,000 for technology upgrades
  • PS 150 Hydroponics Science Lab ($200,000)
    • 2,022 votes
    • STEM classroom where 100+ students will grow food and learn hands-on about nutrition, land use and sustainability
  • PS 112 Bathroom Renovations ($200,000)
    • 1,973 votes
    • Repairs, upgrades and efficiency enhancements to four bathrooms
  • Additional Bus Time Countdown Clocks ($200,000)
    • 1,561 votes
    • Provide groups that cannot rely on or utilize the subway system with on-time bus information

A bonus winner was announced:

  • Bathroom Upgrades at Ravenswood Community Center ($600,000)
    • Renovate bathrooms, which are currently in state of complete disrepair, and install energy saving improvements.

Sunnyside Family Fun Bike Ride scheduled for May 4th

MAY 4 Sunnyside Family Fun Bike Ride Map

On Saturday, May 4, from noon to 1 p.m., the second “Sunnyside Family Bike Ride” will ride through Sunnyside and Woodside along the protected bike lanes on Skillman and 43rd avenues.

The event is free and open to the public. People of all cycling abilities are encouraged to attend.

All riders must bring a bike in good working order. Children under the age of 14 must wear a helmet.

The route will begin at Lou Lodati Playground, located at 41-15 Skillman Avenue, and will end at Sunnyside Greenmarket.

The second Sunnyside Family Bike Ride will honor the efforts of Dr. Rosamond Gianutsos, a CB2 member and lifelong street safety advocate, and Laura Shepard, chair of Transportation Alternatives’ Queens Committee.

Officers from the 108th Precinct will escort riders along this three-mile bike ride. Participants will pass by notable Sunnyside and Woodside parks such as Sunnyside Gardens Park and Windmuller Park, as well as PS 150 and PS 11.

The rain date is Saturday, May 11 with the same time, route and details.

Get your tickets now for Taste of Sunnyside



Now is the time to get your tickets to the 2019 Taste of Sunnyside.

The annual food festival showcasing the neighborhood’s diverse cuisine, restaurants and beverage purveyors will take place on Tuesday, May 21 at the P.C. Richard’s parking lot at 50-02 Queens Boulevard.

The event will also feature an open air beer garden area, interactive arts activities, and even “Sunnyside Strong” t-shirts for VIP ticket holders.

VIP tickets holders ($75) will get to enter at 6 p.m. General admission ($40) begins at 7 p.m.

There are 34 participating restaurants, including:

  • 43 Bar and Grill (Irish American Pub)
  • Arriba Arriba (Mexican)
  • Bantry Bay Publick House (Irish pub)
  • Bliss 46 Bistro (French),
  • Cardamom Indian Cuisine (Indian)
  • Chakra Cafe (Turkish café favorites)
  • Corazon de Mexico (Mexican)
  • Cumbia y Sabor (Colombian)
  • Dazies Restaurant (Italian)
  • De Mole (Mexican)
  • Firefly Petite Café Bistro (Global Bistro)
  • Jack’s Fire Department (American Pub Favorites)
  • La Vienesa Bakery (Colombian Bakery)
  • Lion City Coffee (Singaporean style coffee and pastries)
  • Los Verdes (Colombian-style street eats)
  • Mangal Kebab (Turkish)
  • Ottomanelli Burgers and Belgian Fries (Gourmet Burgers)
  • Philomena’s (New York Style pizzas)
  • Rincon de Melania (Ecuadorian)
  • Sanger Hall (Burgers and Fries)
  • Senso Unico (Modern Italian)
  • SoleLuna (modern Italian)
  • The Skillman (new American)
  • Tito Rad’s Grill (Filipino).

The official after-party will take place at Maggie Mae’s Bar, located at 41-15 Queens Boulevard, at 9 p.m. Those with Taste of Sunnyside admissions bracelets will enjoy special drink specials.

To purchase your tickets, visit

Apply to be the next Queens Poet Laureate

Outgoing Queens Poet Laureate Maria Lisella
Outgoing Queens Poet Laureate Maria Lisella

From April 29 to May 31, Borough President Melinda Katz, along with Queens Public Library and Queens College, are accepting applications for the next Queens Poet Laureate.

What does the position do, you ask? According to Brough Hall, the poet laureate, an unpaid role, is “charged with promoting a love of poetry and literacy throughout the borough.”

Applicants must be published poets and residents of Queens. The winning candidate should be a “talented writer who can also demonstrate that she or he has a compelling vision for the role.”

Applications for the position will be available here starting April 29. The deadline is 5 p.m. on May 31.

To apply, submit a writing sample of up to 10 pages of your poetry, along with an essay of up to 500 words on why you want to be the next Queens Poet Laureate.

Applicants must also submit a one or two page resume focused on poetry-related work, along with public readings, grants, fellowships or awards.

Once selected, the poet laureate will serve for a three-year term.

Here are the past Queens Poet Laureates: Maria Lisella (2015-2018), Paolo Javier (2010-2014), Julio Marzan (2007-2010), Ishle Yi Park (2004-2007), Hal Sirowitz (2001-2004) and Stephen Stepanchev (1997-2001).

Former Queens Poet Laureate Paolo Javier
Former Queens Poet Laureate Paolo Javier

DenDekker to host workshop on opening child care business

Louis Armstrong Middle School
Louis Armstrong Middle School

On Thursday, April 18, Assemblyman Michael DenDekker will host a free event advising local residents how to open and maintain a child care business.

The event, which will take place at Louis Armstrong Middle School IS 227 (32-02 Junction Blvd) at 7pm, will be in collaboration with the Business Outreach Center.

Small businesses, entrepreneurs and stay-at-home parents can consult with experienced professionals on a number of issues, including accessing government programs, identifying loan and grant opportunities, technical assistance and state and local regulations.

Here’s a statement from Assemblyman DenDekker:

“I am passionate about helping my constituents, especially stay-at-home parents that may want to supplement their household income and secure stable employment. With demand for quality child care, we must ensure that parents and small business owners have the proper information on how to start or maintain a child care service and to find available resources to work in child care.”

Dispute leads to shooting in Sunnyside


A dispute between two men at around 8 a.m. in Sunnyside led to a shooting and a manhunt before the suspect killed himself.

According to several reports, two Amtrak workers were arguing before one man was shot in the left leg inside his truck at Sunnyside Yards near 39th Street. He managed to drive out onto 39th Street and was eventually taken by ambulance to Elmhurst Hospital.

The suspect fled the scene in a black Cadillac Escalade and was later found by police parked in the parking lot of the Rite Aid near 51st Street and Roosevelt Avenue. He apparently shot himself in the driver’s seat.

The video below was taken by resident Cesar Villalobos Ochoa and shows the moment the SWAT team approached the suspect’s vehicle (around 18:30 into the video).


Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney tweeted about the incident.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for more details.

Pick your favorite local projects for Participatory Budgeting 2019

2019 JVB PB Flyer

From March 30 to April 7, residents ages 11 and up in the 26th Council District (Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside, Astoria) can vote for their favorite projects in this year’s participatory budgeting.

After months of community engagement, the ballot has been narrowed down to 13 final projects:

  • Technology Upgrades for Libraries ($450,000)
    • Location: Sunnyside, Woodside, Broadway, LIC and Court Square Libraries
    • Description: Technology upgrades (PC, printer, simple scan, A/V, presentation screens, etc.) for all five libraries in the district.
  • Technology Updates for Schools ($400,000)
    • Location: PS 112, PS 150, PS 166 and Academy of American Studies
    • Description: Laptop carts, computers, projects and interactive boards
  • Academy of American Studies/Newcomers HS Auditorium Upgrade ($450,000)
    • Location: Academy of American Studies and Newcomers High School
    • Description: Upgrade stage lighting to replace broken lights to create a better learning environment for both schools’ students.
  • PS 150 Hydroponics Science Lab ($200,000)
    • Location: PS 150
    • Description: STEM classroom where 1,000+ students will grow food, learn hands-on about nutrition, land use and sustainability.
  • PS 112 Bathroom Renovations ($200,000)
    • Location: PS 112
    • Description: Repairs, upgrades and efficiency enhancements to four bathrooms.
  • Accessibility Improvements ($120,000)
    • Location: Borden Avenue Veterans Residence (LIC)
    • Description: Enhance disabled access to veterans’ service center by installing a sliding front glass door.
  • Garden Beautification in Ravenswood ($300,000)
    • Location: Ravenswood Houses
    • Description: Create new raised garden area near Community Center and make beautification improvements to adjacent outdoor seating area.
  • Lighting and Beautification in Woodside ($300,000)
    • Location: Woodside Houses
    • Description: Improve lighting near the Community Center, install benches and install better fencing around existing garden area.
  • Beautification in Queensbridge ($300,000)
    • Location: Queensbridge Houses
    • Description: Comprehensive project including improved benches, signs, outdoor space, benches and permanent flower pots.
  • Community Center Bathroom Upgrades ($600,000)
    • Location: Ravenswood Houses
    • Description: Renovate bathrooms, which are currently in state of disrepair. Includes energy saving improvements.
  • Add Green Space to Lou Lodati Park ($650,000)
    • Location: Lou Lodati Park (Sunnyside)
    • Description: Add green space to certain areas in Lou Lodati Park including turf in the baseball and volleyball fields.
  • Renovate Sixteen Oaks Grove ($600,000)
    • Location: Sixteen Oaks Grove Park (LIC)
    • Description: Renovate Sixteen Oaks Grove by adding trees, plants and benches. Urban green space benefits people and communities.
  • Bus-Time Countdown Clocks ($200,000)
    • Location: Throughout District 26
    • Description: This addresses the need to provide groups that cannot rely on or utilize the subway system with in-time bus information.

CEC 24 April meeting at PS 343

CEC24 April 2019 Meeting

Save the date!

Community Education Council for District 24 is meeting on April 9 at 7 p.m. at PS 343 in Sunnyside.

Among the topics that will be discussed are fire safety, cyber security and more.

The CEC will also hand out staff member recognition awards to celebrate outstanding work.

For more information, email

More debris rains down below 7 train

In the second time in two weeks, a piece of debris has fallen down from the elevated 7 train structure onto the streets below.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer tweeted this afternoon that the debris fell at 62nd Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside. It hit a moving car.

Luckily, no one was injured (again). But if it keeps happening, there definitely could be injuries ahead.

Pols have referenced these dangerous incidents as examples of why the state needs to pass congestion pricing.

The funding mechanism, they say, will fix the MTA’s crumbling infrastructure.