Van Bramer to honor women leaders in the community


Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer is hosting its 8th annual spring open house in his Sunnyside district office on Saturday April 8th at noon.

The event will feature food, beverages, and a chance to mingle with other community members and the councilman’s staff.

In honor of Women’s History Month, the event will also pay tribute to seven women leaders in the community:

  • Deborah Alexander, Community Education Council 30 Co-President
  • Heather Laurel, Sunnyside/Woodside Runners Club
  • Elizabeth Ciro, St. Raphael Church Food Pantry
  • Helen Ho, Director of External Affairs for LaGuardia Community College
  • Selena Blake, filmmaker and activist
  • Meghan Cirrito, library and education leader
  • Dorothy Morehead, environmental activist and Community Board 2 member

The event will be on Saturday, April 8th from noon to 2 p.m. at 41-01 Queens Boulevard, Suite 205.

CEC 30 meeting scheduled for Monday


Community District Education Council (CEC) 30 is meeting on Monday, April 3 at IS 227, located at 32-02 Junction Boulevard in East Elmhurst.

On the agenda is a resolution supporting the School Construction Authority (SCA)’s push to restore the historic exterior of the building where a new middle school will rise in Sunnyside Gardens.

Residents and parents celebrated the announcement of the middle school last September. In November, Community Board 2 also gave its support, but with the stipulation that the SCA should incorporate historic preservation into its design.

Sunnyside Gardens residents and preservationists are still pushing the city agency to preserve the building, highlighting its history and importance to the historic community.

Following the resolution, District 30 Superintendent Philip Compost will give a report and updates on school-related issues.

REMINDER: Participatory budgeting voting this weekend!


It’s almost here!

Starting tomorrow, residents of Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City can vote on their favorite neighborhood projects as part of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s participatory budgeting process.

Van Bramer’s office is hosting a project expo, where you can learn about each project on the ballot, tomorrow at the Museum of the Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue) from 1 to 4 p.m.

If you haven’t had a chance to look at the projects up for funding, here’s the ballot online.

Some projects include technology upgrades and teen space expansion at Woodside Library, mobile laptops and carts for all district schools and gardening improvements at Woodside Houses.

When you’re voting, you can choose up to five of your favorite projects. The top projects with the most votes will be funded up to $1 million.

AND if you can’t make any of the voting locations listed above at the listed times, good news. You can vote online here.

If you have any questions, direct them to Kenny Medrano, Director of Participatory Budgeting, at 718-383-9566 or

VIDEO: Sunnyside woman harassed inside apartment

RMA 778-17 Harrasment 108 pct 3-12-17 (pic)

Police are looking for this man, pictured above, who followed a 28-year-old woman inside her apartment building and harassed her.

Authorities say on Sunday, March 12, at about 12:30 a.m., the man barged into the residential building near 43rd Avenue and 42nd Street in Sunnyside.

He followed the victim in the lobby, approaching her from behind. He grabbed her waist as she struggled to fend him off.

The suspect then pushed her up against a wall and put his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming.

But the victim pushed him off. The suspect then ran out of the building and was last seen walking along 42nd Street.

There were no injuries reported or property stolen from this incident.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Take a look at the incident from surveillance video:

Woodside pol introduces worker safety bill

Assemblyman Brian Barnwell
Assemblyman Brian Barnwell

Newly-elected Assemblyman Brian Barnwell from Woodside has hit the ground running in Albany.

Today, he introduced new legislation that would create a safety and apprenticeship program requirement for all construction and demolition work four or more stories, or 40 or more feet throughout the state.

“We have had too many individuals dying on construction projects,” Barnwell said. “Only construction workers with the proper amount of training and qualifications should be allowed to work on certain projects.”

The new bill mandates that only qualified workers who are apprentices, graduated from an apprenticeship program or authorized by the commissioner of labor and who have satisfied safety training requirements are allowed to work on those large projects.

Before any worker is hired on a project with those specifications, proof of qualifications must be provided, according to Barnwell.

If companies violate the bill, the project would be terminated, and the business responsible for illegal hiring would be fined and banned from all future construction and demolition projects four or more stories throughout the state.

“If the amount of construction workers who have died in the last few years were doctors or attorneys, the problem would have been solved via legislation long ago,” Barnwell said. “The time for stricter safety measures is now. No one should ever have to wonder if this is the day that they never come home.”

Vote in participatory budgeting this weekend


It’s that time of the year again!

Starting this weekend, you can vote for your favorite neighborhood projects to receive up to $1 million in funding.

This year, you can vote among among 18 different projects in the following categories: arts, culture and community facilities; education; housing; parks and recreation; and transit.

Some of the projects include playground updates at PS 111 and PS 152, grounds restoration at Ravenswood Houses and BBQ area picnic tables at Rainey Park.

See the whole ballot by clicking here.

To kick off participatory budgeting, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s office is hosting a project expo at Kaufman Studios on March 25th, the first day of voting. You can learn more about each of the projects at the event.

The voting sites and times are listed above.

If you can’t make it out to any of the voting sites in time, good news. For the first time ever, you can also vote for your favorite projects online.

Anyone over the age of 14 who lives in the district is eligible to vote for up to five projects on the ballot.

For more information, contact Kenny Medrano, Director of Participatory Budgeting for Councilman Van Bramer, at 718-383-9566 or

Happy voting!

Sunnyside Shines hosts 2017 annual meeting


Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District (BID) is hosting its annual meeting on Thursday, March 30 at 7 p.m.

At this meeting, you’ll learn more about what the BID has done in the last year and what it has in store for 2017.

All are welcome and refreshments will be provided.

At the meeting, you’ll also get a chance to meet the new executive director of Sunnyside Shines, Jaime-Faye Bean.


Jaime is following in the footsteps of Rachel Thieme, who will step down from the position. She comes with a background in nonprofit executive management and fundraising.

“This is a special neighborhood – it’s where global influences meet local passion, and the result is a fantastic community of committee business owners and engaged residents,” Bean said. “I’m excited to be part of an organization that is making Sunnyside an even better place to live, work, and do business.

To register with the Sunnyside Shines BID, visit their website here.

Classroom trailers will be removed at PS 151


Good news for students at both PS 151 and PS 255 in Woodside.

Officials announced earlier this week that the 11 classroom trailers currently housing special needs students at PS 255 will be moved. Starting next school year, PS 255 students will relocate to the Long Island City building of PS 397.

For PS 151 students, after decades of having the trailers block off school yard space, they will finally have more room to run, play and exercise.

This is a good solution by elected officials and the School Construction Authority. It finally gives PS 255 students, their teachers and therapists the appropriate space to teach and learn.

To read more about the announcement, click here.