Van Bramer honors Girl Scout Troop 6000

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The New York City Council, led by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, presented a proclamation to the members of Girl Scout Troop 6000 to celebrate their founding as the first troop exclusively for homeless girls.

All members of the troop live at the Sleep Inn hotel in Long Island City, which is used as a homeless shelter for 100 families.

“Today we honor a very special group of young women who made history and are the future leaders of our city,” Van Bramer said. “With Troop 6000, they now have a place to realize their dreams, find stability, make lifelong friends and discover the strength they have inside to be whoever they want to be.”

In the New York area, girl scout troop numbers are assigned by borough. Troop 6000 was given their number because the members may not call the borough in which they live home.

“Girl Scout Troop 6000 truly represents the strength and resilience of our communities, especially our young New Yorkers,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “These girls and young women are the leaders of our future – and no one deserves to miss out on opportunities simply because she is homeless.”

Meredith Maskara, the chief operating officer of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, said Troop 6000 will provide security, sisterhood and consistency to girls and women living in shelters.

“The expansion of the Troop would allow women and girls the opportunity to remain part of the same troop, no matter what shelter they reside, receive leadership development and programming and be the anchor that makes them feel they are part of their community,” Maskara said. “The current girls in the Troop are demonstrating that Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character who truly make the world a better place.”

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Cyclist hit by truck in Sunnyside

A cyclist was hit by a box truck early this morning at the intersection of 39th Street and 43rd Avenue, according to Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

The councilman said he’s in contact with the 108th Precint and is closely monitoring the condition of the cyclist, who was seriously hurt but is in stable condition.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with this cyclist, and we wish for his speedy recovery,” Van Bramer said.

He called authorities to investigate the causes of the Tuesday morning crash. According to Van Bramer, this has been the second crash with a cyclist in the intersection in 10 days.

“This is not where we need to be when it comes to realizing Vision Zero, and I call on the Department of Transportation to conduct a full investigation and study on this intersection and make safety improvements if needed,” he added. “We cannot tolerate a pedestrians, cyclist or motorist being killed or seriously injured while traveling.

The intersection is just one block from Queens Boulevard, Skillman Avenue and other busy thoroughfares. It’s also one block from Sunnyside Community Services, a community and senior center in the neighborhood.

Women leaders honored at spring open house

Photo courtesy/Office of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer
Photo courtesy/Office of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer

Over the weekend, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer honored seven women and community leaders inside his Sunnyside office as part of the his 8th annual Spring Open House event.

The honorees were recognized for their work in education, environmental protection, libraries and media. Their influence have spread throughout Woodside, Sunnyside, Long Island City and Astoria.

“Each and every day, women all across our country go unrecognized for their extraordinary contributions that improve our lives,” Van Bramer said. “We must continue to tear down barriers that hold women back, and we must especially encourage more young women to run for public office.

The honorees are:

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

Join Elmjack Little League and Skanska Walsh for opening day baseball

b4ae34a4-3575-4c46-8aa6-92d40777c083Elmjack Little League is hosting their opening day celebration in Jackson Heights this weekend. Help welcome the warm weather and celebrate the first pitch of the league’s 66th season at Elmjack Little League Baseball Field 78th Street and 19th Avenue.

The special opening ceremony will take place at 9 a.m., on Saturday April 8 and feature a ceremonial first pitches from executives at Skanska-Walsh – one of the league sponsors – along with Senator Jose Peralta and Council Member Costa Constantinides.

Local singing sensation Eu4rya will perform the National Anthem.

Queens man dies in weekend crash

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A crash in Sunnyside over the weekend left one man dead and many more asking questions.

Police say that on Saturday, April 1, at approximately 2:53 a.m., a car collided with a bicycle at the intersection of 43rd Avenue and 39th Street.

When officers arrived on the scene, they found 32-year-old Gelasio Reyes, whose listed address is in Corona, lying on the roadway with trauma about the body.

EMS responded to the scene and took Reyes to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Further investigation found that Reyes was traveling eastbound on 43rd Avenue when he was stuck at the intersection of 39th Street by a red 2002 Ford Escape.

The operator of the car, 25-year-old Cristian Guiracocha, fled the scene, authorities say.

Guiracocha, who is from Woodside, was arrested later that day. He was charged with a DWI, aggravated unlicensed operator and refusal to take a breathalyzer test.

The investigation of the crash remains ongoing, NYPD says.

Van Bramer to honor women leaders in the community

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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

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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!

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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 kmedrano@council.nyc.gov.

VIDEO: Sunnyside woman harassed inside apartment

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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: