Katz appoints new (and returning) CB2 members

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It’s that time of the year again!

Borough President Melinda Katz has announced the new and returning community board members for Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside.

To be exact, 331 people will serve two-year terms on 14 community boards throughout Queens. Of the 331 appointees, 62 are first-timers.

The term began on April 1.

Community boards play an advisory role in land use and zoning matters, and review issues like parks, infrastructure and safety.

Here are the members who were appointed by Katz at Community Board 2:

  • Thalia Batan
  • Sandra Bigitschke
  • Osman Chowdhury
  • Stephen Cooper
  • Lisa Ann Deller
  • Stacey Eliuk
  • Ira Greenberg
  • Kenneth Greenberg
  • Ellen Kang
  • Denise Keehan-Smith
  • Nancy Kleaver-Saltzstein
  • Marie Konecko
  • Jordan Levine
  • Sheila Lewandowski
  • Dominick Lippolis
  • Elizabeth McKenna
  • Taina McShane
  • Thomas Mituzas
  • Clara Oza
  • Steven Raga
  • Norberto Saldana
  • Regina Shanley
  • Michael Son
  • Lauren Springer
  • Karolina Tosi
  • Rebecca Trent
  • Santiago Vargas
  • Maia Magdelena Vielma

Master Plan for Sunnyside Yards on its way

Just when you thought we were safe from overdevelopment….. the city announced its selection of an architect (Vishaan Chakrabarti) to come up with a master development plan for Sunnyside Yards.

Sunnyside Yards development is getting a master plan.
Sunnyside Yards development is getting a master plan.

The site is about 175 acres and basically runs between Northern Blvd and Queens Blvd. There are plenty of people who are comparing this project to that of Hudson Yards. Here, it is estimated that if built, the area could possibly house nearly 25,000 housing units.

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Vishaan Chakrabarti is a former city planner, serving as Manhattan’s director. He is an architect and founder of A Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism. He is responsible for designs of the Domino Domino Sugar factory development in Williamsburg … turning the lot into a mixed use neighborhood.

Skillman and 43rd redesign town hall set for March 26

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The Sunnyside and Woodside communities will discuss the proposed redesign of Skillman and 43rd avenues at a town hall on Monday, March 26.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at PS 150 (40-01 43rd Avenue).

The proposed redesign includes protected bike lanes, school crossings, and other traffic calming measures.

The redesign comes nearly a year after two cyclists were struck by motorists on 43rd Avenue and 39th Street in a 10-day span. On April 1, 32-year-old Gelasio Reyes was returning home on his bike when he was fatally hit by a box truck.

Just 10 days later, cyclist David Nunez was also hit by a box truck.

Jon the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Sunnyside and Woodside neighbors on Monday for what is sure to be an interesting debate.


Sunnyside Gardens will get a new public park


A new public park is set to replace the former Phipps Playground in Sunnyside Gardens.

Two years ago, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer secured $3 million to purchase the privately-owned land and refurbish it into a public open space.

But that also required the owner of the lot to sell it. On Monday, city officials announced they are moving forward with its acquisition.

Starting with a Community Board 2 presentation tonight, the rezoning proposal (from residential to parkland) will go through the borough president’s office and the City Council for final approval.

Van Bramer and Sunnyside Gardens neighbors are optimistic the plan will be approved in no time.

Which means Sunnyside Gardens may soon get its long-awaited, much-deserved park!

Why Woodside residents are keeping their favorite gym a secret

QL2If you live in Woodside, Ultimate Fitness Queens is about to be Your new Favorite gym for Fitness, Sports, and so much more. 

Located at 26-50 BQE West in Woodside, Queens, Ultimate Fitness Queens boasts 3 floors and 40,000 Sq Ft. of State Of The Art Fitness Equipment and Queens’ Largest Cardio Section. Ultimate Fitness Queens also has a Big Indoor Basketball Court, Boxing, Kickboxing and MMA, Sauna & Steam Room, Massage Therapy and a Beauty Salon, On-Site Full Menu Cafe & Juice Bar and much more!


Full_CourtIf you ask me, no other gym in Queens can offer a 24-hour open Indoor Basketball Court, 3 Floors of Strength Training Equipment, Full Schedule of Group Fitness Classes (Spin, Zumba, Yoga, Belly Dance, etc…), Separate Boxing and Spin Room, Personal Training, Nutrition Coaching, Free Street Parking and 3 Parking Lots with Free parking available with your membership.… which starts at only $14.99/mo!

QL5“I’ve been a member for many years and left for one year to try something else, but I just came back.  I realized for the price & quality you guys lead the pack. It’s not always greener on the other side,” said Alex, a Woodside resident and member of Ultimate Fitness Queens. 

What’s more… their staff is loaded with experts in the Health & Fitness industry!

TRIM-Sanity is a Fitness and Weight Loss/Management Program lead by UFQ’s Leyla Messiha, ACSM EP-C, CTRS. 

QL6UFQ’s TRIM-Sanity  Program is more than just Personal Training and Group Fitness Classes… they are the “most complete approach to developing and adopting a Healthy and Fit Lifestyle. “We are not offering Overhyped empty promises of guaranteed Weight Loss… We are committed to helping you reach your goals and developing strategies and solutions for a Healthier Quality of Life,” said program director, Leyla. 


According to Leyla, Fitness is a State of Mind, Body and Spirit. Exploring Exercise Options and the right Nutrition Habits that are catered to your Needs and Interests are essential to adopting the Fitness Lifestyle. 

QL3TRIM-Sanity focuses on the most Effective combination of Fitness Classes, Personal Training, Personal Assessment and Nutrition Education fused together to help you maximize your results. 

Some of the Specialties offered by TRIM-Sanity at Ultimate Fitness Queens are: INSANITY, TRX Workout, Zumba, Boot Camp / HIIT, Cardio Kickboxing, Personal Training, Nutritional Counseling, Post Rehab, Massage Therapy and Monthly Health and Fitness Workshops. 

You can call Ultimate Fitness Queens at (718) 726-4343, check out their website here, and their Facebook Page here.  



Van Dam St. Homeless Shelter Angers Residents at Thursday night meeting


The Department of Homeless Services Meeting held on Thursday, March 15th, at the St Raphael’s Church located at 3520 Greenpoint Ave. included a heated debate between the enraged community of Blissville over the third shelter being reinstated in the area, and the DHS Queens Manager Amanda Nasner and a panel from DHS.

The new homeless shelter, tentatively named the Northstar Shelter, is intended to open this month for 154 adult families at the Fairfield Inn at 52-34 Van Dam St.  DHS did stay late Thursday to ensure that every person who wanted to speak and address the panel was heard. The Chairman of Community Board #2, Denise Keehan-Smith monitored the public meeting between the community and DHS .

DHS claimed that the homeless shelter in Blissville shelter would not be permanent. But many at this meeting told DHS that they had lost trust with the administration. Local resident Jack Wallace said, “Part of the problem is that I don’t trust DHS. You proved not to be trustworthy by what happened at the Pan Am Hotel. They were told that the shelter there wouldn’t be permanent. They moved in overnight. The people of Jackson Heights were lied to. Now it’s a permanent shelter. There’s no transparency at DHS. No honesty. No communication. No respect.”

One resident stated, “My name is Sam and I stand for Sunnyside. There’s a saying in baseball, ‘if you build it they will come.’ But our community is too small for a hotel shelter. We don’t want what happened at other hotel shelters to happen here.”

President of the Hunter Point Civic Association in Long Island City, Brent O’Leary said, “We are not against the homeless. We are willing to do our part. But this is not a good location for another shelter. Blissville is a such a small town that a homeless shelter in the area will overwhelm the residents.” The small town of Blissville has little over 300 residents.

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Author Crystal Wolfe to host author talk & book signing


Author and advocate Crystal Wolfe is hosting two local talks and book signings for her book, “Our Invisible Neighbors: Accounts, Causes and Solutions to the Epidemic of Homelessness in the 21st Century.”

The first session will be at the Project Life Center in Woodside on Thursday, March 22nd at 7 p.m.

The next will be at the Sunnyside Library on Saturday, April 7th at 2:30 p.m.

Hear Crystal share stories about the homeless crisis in New York City, which has reached historic highs in recent years.

Crystal is also the founder of the organization Catering for the Homeless.

PS 11 to get two traffic lights

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Hearing the rally cries of parents, teachers and school administrators from PS 11, the Department of Transportation will install two traffic lights in front of the Woodside school.

They will be installed by the end of May.

The PS 11 community demanded traffic calming measures in a rally in January, and their voice was heard.

“These two signals now make it easier for everyone in the community to cross, especially the growing number of students who are heading to and from school or visiting the Woodside Library,” said Queens DOT Commissioner Nicole Garcia.

The school added hundreds of seats when it opened its new $91.8 million annex last year.

As a result, they also changed entrances, leading to concerns about traffic and cars.

To read more about PS 11’s rally, see the story here.

St. Pat’s for All Sunnyside Parade

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Interested in marching with the McManus Irish Dance LLC in the St Pat’s For All Sunnyside Parade? Come and celebrate Irish culture in the Sunnyside community by supporting this local establishment. The group will meet on Sunday, March 4th at 1 PM at Skillman Avenue to prepare for step off at 2 PM.

Stick around after the parade for the 4th annual Post Parade party featuring live Irish music, song, and performances by the McManus students and staff at Maguire’s Pub at 54-20 Roosevelt Avenue.

For more information visit the event’s Facebook page here.

Erin go Bragh!

Brewer’s Bash at Bar 43 in Queens

Head to Bar 43 at 43-06 43rd Street, on Friday, March 2nd from 7pm for a ‘Brewer’s Bash’ as part of NYC Beer Week!

Celebrate beer week with local brewers including Singlecut, LIC Beer Project, Braven and King’s County Brewing Co. confirmed with more local breweries still to join. With 10 lines of great locally brewed beer, you’ll be spoiled for choice. You can also expect guest appearances from local brewmasters!

Tickets are FREE so register here to join in on the fun!