Van Bramer begins back-to-school supplies drive


It’s not exactly back-to-school time for the kids, but it never hurts to start getting ready early.

This week, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer launched his 8th annual Back to School Supplies Drive to benefit students in his district.

From August 8th to September 5th, community members are encouraged to donate backpacks, notebooks, pencils, crayons, calculators, rulers and other supplies at Van Bramer’s district office or five Queens Library locations.

The supplies will be distributed to local schools on September 7.

“No child should have to go to school without the supplies they need to do their best,” Van Bramer said. “With the upcoming school year fast approaching, many families in our community struggle with the cost of supplies that are required and have to make tough choices that could leave a child without necessary supplies like notebooks, a backpack or a calculator.”

“Each and every child deserves to walk into school with the dignity and confidence that comes from a full backpack,” he added. “Your help will make a real difference and give each child in our community the tools to learn, grow and succeed.”

Here are the locations where you can drop off school supplies:

  • Van Bramer’s District Office: 47-01 Queens Boulevard, Suite 205
  • Sunnyside Library: 43-06 Greenpoint Avenue
  • Woodside Library: 54-22 Skillman Avenue
  • Long Island City Library: 37-44 21st Street
  • Court Square Library: 25-01 Jackson Avenue
  • Broadway Library: 40-20 Broadway

TONIGHT: Mayor’s Office hosts healthcare forum


The Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit is joining the Center for Faith and Community Partnerships and GetCoveredNYC tonight for a healthcare forum at Sunnyside Community Services.

Sunnyside residents and community members can learn about federal legislation affecting Medicaid and other healthcare programs. This event will work to empower residents to take action to protect their healthcare.

RSVP at or call 646-430-0050.

Starbucks closed for renovations


As you may have already seen, the Starbucks on 46th Street and Queens Boulevard has temporarily shut down for renovations.

According to Department of Buildings records, the $135,165 project, filed and approved in June, is to renovate the interior, including lighting, plumbing and adding a new partition.


Sources say the Starbucks should reopen within a month or two.

In the meantime, there’s a Dunkin Donuts right down the street, so you can always get your coffee there.

If you prefer local spots, there’s always Aubergine Cafe (49-22 Skillman Ave), Ave Coffee (45-01 Greenpoint Ave), Parrot Coffee (45-15 Queens Blvd), Cafe Colombia Bakery (46-27 Greenpoint Ave) and many other coffee shops.

THURSDAY: Annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Concert

Bliss Plaza

Get excited, Sunnyside!

On Thursday, Sunnyside Shines is hosting a 1920s-themed celebration of the life and work of jazz great Bix Beiderbecke, an influential cornet player who lived his last days in Sunnyside.

The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Concert will take place on August 3rd from 3 to 8 p.m. at Bliss Plaza, right off the 46th Street station.

Tis year’s concert will be headlined by local drummer and Bix aficionado Paul Maringelli. His tribute band, The Sunnyside Wolverines, is named for Bix’s first band.

The event will also feature a performance by Astoria Swing Dance and free ice cream from the Bliss Street Creamery. The creamery is holding a flavor contest for a new creation they will call “Bix Licks.”

“We are proud to be part of producing the Bix concert this year,” said Jaime-Faye Bean, executive director of Sunnyside Shines. “It’s a vibrant annual tradition that brings our community together in a spirit of neighborhood pride and fun, and helps our very global community connect with the history of our home.”

The jazz concert is part of Sunnyside Shines’ Summer Thursdays in Bliss Plaza, which brings together local community members, businesses, live music, free activities and dance performances, all under the 7 train station at 46th Street.

For more information on the series, visit their website at

Senator Peralta allocates funds for free legal services


Senator Jose Peralta announced a state allocation of $50,000 towards the CUNY School of Law’s Community Resource Network.

The allocation will provide free legal services aimed towards immigration as well as housing cases in response to an increase of discrimination cases regarding those issues in District 13.

“This city was built and continues to be built by immigrants and their children, and we must ensure that no one discriminates against them,” said Peralta.

The funds will provide one-on-one legal counseling as well as legal rights workshops.

“CUNY School of Law is to delighted to work with the office of Senator Jose Peralta to bring greatly needed legal assistance to families who need it, particularly in this uncertain time of change,” said Professor Alizabeth Newman, Director Community Legal Resource Network at CUNY School of Law.

Big Bush Park under construction

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Elected and city officials broke ground on a $1.8 million renovation to Big Bush Park.

The project will give the Woodside park repaved areas, upgraded playground, more green space and spray shower equipment.

“We look forward to reopening the park next spring complete with upgraded play equipment, a fun spray shower feature, and a more welcoming entrance,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, “bringing to fruition the community’s vision for this space.”

The park is expected to reopen in April 2018.

Emerald Isle hosts free citizenship classes

Citizenship-Class-flyer-July-2017The Emerald Isle Immigration Center is hosting free citizenship classes at their Woodside office at 59-26 Woodside Avenue.

Registration for the classes are on Saturday, July 8th and July 15th starting at 10 a.m.

The classes are on Mondays and Thursdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

As part of the class requirements, students must show proof of a citizenship application and have a valid green card or proof of green card renewal.

For more information, contact Emerald Isle at 646-545-7214 or

NYPD cars surround white van on Greenpoint Avenue


Five police cars stopped a white van at the corner of 47th Street and Greenpoint Avenue on Wednesday morning around 11:30 a.m.

Officers could be seen talking to an older man, wearing a yellow polo shirt and white pants, inside a police car. He was not handcuffed.

It was unclear what the police stop was about.

Police appeared to look through the van for half an hour. No one was arrested at the scene.

The incident stopped traffic along 47th Street, with cars honking in the background.

By noon, most of the police cars had cleared out, but officers were still combing through the nondescript white van.

Did you see the incident unfold and have any more information? Let us know in the comment section below.

Mammograms and Clinical Breast Exams in Woodside


Assemblyman Brian Barnwell is teaming up with local elected officials to bring the American Italian Cancer Foundation’s mobile care clinic to Woodside.

The van will be parked at the corner of 32nd Avenue and 51st Street on Friday, July 7th from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

You can get a free mammogram and clinic breast exam. No co-pays required and deductibles are waived.

Uninsured patients are welcomed.

City Hall comes to Queens

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Mayor de Blasio is bringing City Hall to Queens next month.

De Blasio and Borough President Melinda Katz announced that the administration will run the city from Borough Hall for a week, starting on July 17.

They will host a cabinet meeting, resource fairs, town halls and other events focused on Queens.

“In Queens, we will continue focusing city resources on the borough’s most pressing needs,” de Blasio said.