Sunnyside’s state senator is now the deputy majority leader

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Michael Gianaris is moving on up!

At the start of the next legislative session in Albany, Sunnyside’s state senator will have the title of deputy majority leader, the second-highest role in the chamber.

He will be the deputy behind Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

His responsibilities include crafting policy in the State Senate and managing the legislative agenda on the floor.

We knew this would happen, given that Gianaris was deputy minority leader when the Democrats were in minority.

But now that they have taken over leadership of the chamber, Queens’s own will have a forceful voice in the state capital.

Crowley joins U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission

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He may be leaving Congress soon, but Joe Crowley has another important job to do.

The outgoing congressman announced that he was sworn into the United States Semiquincentennial Commission on November 16.

The commission is planning the observances and activities for the United States’ 250th anniversary of independence in 2026.

The swearing-in ceremony took place at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where both the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were adopted.

The commission will submit a plan to celebrate the 250th anniversary to the president to be approved.

The group is made up of 16 citizens, eight members of Congress and nine federal government officials.

PHOTOS: Sunnyside kicks off holiday season

The annual Sunnyside holiday lighting ceremony took place earlier this week to much fanfare.

Dozens of community members braved the cold (they were aided by hot chocolate from White Castle) to enjoy local dancing and musical performances.

After hearing a few words from local officials, Sunnyside Shines officially turned on the holiday lights on Queens Boulevard to everyone’s delight.

The event was capped off with a performance by the Sunnyside Youth Drum Corps.

See a recap of all that Sunnyside Shines is doing this holiday season here.

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Sunnyside artists crafts & art fair this weekend

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This Sunday, join over 35 artisans from Sunnyside, Woodside, LIC and Astoria at the 10th annual crafts fair at Queen of Angels Church.

See exhibitors from local artists such as:

  • Miniature oil paintings by Phyllis Brachman

  • Natural relics sculpture by Nancy Gesimondo

  • Mini scones called “heaven on earth” from Hazel Coombs

  • Fruit sculpture by Blanca Narvaez

  • Christmas ornaments by Tony Andrea

  • Hand carved wooden items by Michael Gurrado

  • Hand-painted upcycled purses from Cat Penfold

  • Textiles such as home linens, scarves, hats from Una Studdert, Ann Cofta

A free glass of wine will be given by Anthony Lodati from Lowery Wine & Liquors.

Vote YES, NO and NO on tomorrow’s NYC ballot proposals

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When you vote tomorrow, make sure to flip the ballot to decide on three ballot proposals that would alter the city charter.

These are important because they will determine the balance of power in New York City’s neighborhoods.

When you look at proposals two and three, we see them as a way for Mayor de Blasio to have more say over neighborhoods like Sunnyside and Woodside.

From homeless hotels to bike lanes and other local decisions, the mayor’s office already has utmost influence. To lessen the community’s voices is a red flag. That’s why we urge you to vote no on proposals two and three.

Here, we explain where we stand on the three proposals:

Ballot proposal #1: Campaign Finance Alterations
Why you should vote YES
By voting yes, and raising the amount of public matching funds for candidates, you are helping someone who is not financed by less than transparent, less than desirable interests run for office.

Ballot proposal #2: Civic Engagement Proposal
Why you should vote NO
Don’t let the mayor give his pals a bunch of vague titles on the appointed “civic engagement commission.” Instead, we should have more community participation instead of having the voices of the community ignored.

Ballot Proposal #3: Term limits on Community Boards
Why you should vote NO

If appointed community board members have to apply to the borough president, for renewal every two years, why would term limits make sense? Let’s not forget the importance of institutional memory on our community boards.

To read our full opinion, visit the Queens Ledger’s NYC Ballot Proposals Vote YES NO and NO piece.

Sunnyside Shorts International Film Festival this Saturday

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The Sunnyside Shorts International Film Festival is taking place this Saturday, November 3.

According to festival organizers, their hope is that in the making and viewing of these works of art, bridges can be built across the span of cultures.

Films by and for teens begin at 1pm with a free entrance and refreshments. Films by and for adults from around the world starts at 7 p.m.

Tickets range from $12 to $15. Learn more about the festival, and purchase tickets, at www.sunnysideshorts.com.

Sunnyside holiday lighting ceremony set for November 20

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Watch Sunnyside light up for the holidays on Tuesday, November 20.

At 40th Street and Queens Boulevard, next to Dazies Restaurant, Sunnyside Shines will put on a holiday lighting ceremony, a tradition in the neighborhood.

There will be hot chocolate and cake, music, dancing and even a visit from Santa!

Here’s our coverage from last year’s holiday lighting ceremony.

For more information, email info@sunnysideshines.org or call 718-606-1800.

Holiday lights are up in Sunnyside

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The cold weather is back and that can only mean one thing – the holiday season is coming!

Here in Sunnyside, we spotted holiday lights on Greenpoint Avenue and 47th Street.

It’s not even Halloween yet, and we still have Thanksgiving!

But it’s never too early for holiday lights, which brightens the entire neighborhood in the winter darkness.

We can’t wait to see the lights shine bright in the nighttime.