Gioia Hails Sunnyside Chamber For BID Startup
City Councilmember Eric Gioia visited the first post-summer luncheon of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and congratulated the group for finally attaining a Business Improvement District (BID), after several years of trying.
Gioia recalled how in 2002, his first year in office, he had brought DOE Fund workers into the district to do some cleanup chores on Roosevelt Avenue and encountered skepticism from storeowners there, They were eventually won over by the job the workers did, Gioia recalled, but their initial reluctance, owing to the belief that any such scheme was going to entail an expense they'd find hard to bear, made the resistance encountered by the BIDseekers understandable to him,
Terry Facciuto of the chamber thanked Gioia for standing by throughout the difficult process of establishing the BID, which was effected in late August, when it was ratified by the City Council, For the moment, the BID covers shopping areas mainly along Greenpoint Avenue and Queens Boulevard. Luke Adams, executive director of the chamber, said that while he realized Gioia had to be sensitive about accepting gifts, he could not resist presenting the councilmember with one, a framed photograph of Gioia holding his infant daughter,
Marc Levitt, local attorney, asked Gioia and later Assemblymember Catherine Nolan, who arrived after the councilmember had left, about the state legislature's relocation of the date for this year's primary elections, from the second to the third Tuesday in September, This was done because the second Tuesday was September 11, the first Tuesday on that date since the fatal Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Levitt said he deplored the move, Told it was only for this year, he was not mollified, nor did he accept the reason for moving Primary Day in the first place: that a lot of emotionalism was involved, with people remembering that in addition to inflicting death and destruction, the terrorists' attack in 2001 forced cancellation of primary elections in which the candidates for mayor were to have been chosen, He said we shouldn't fear to associate elections with that day but should do the opposite and hold them, to demonstrate our way of life, Both Gioia and Nolan told him there's room for honest disagreement on the issue, Nolan declaring, "I would have felt funny about having a primary today."
Nolan was sorry to have missed Gioia, but conveyed her own congratulations to the chamber now that the BID is in existence, She said she was familiar with the difficulties getting BIDs established, having worked on BIDs for Steinway Street in Astoria and Myrtle Avenue in Glendale and Ridgewood.
Two new members were introduced at the luncheon, Claire Carsen is set to launch Nourish NYC, a health food store, at 43-15 Queens Blvd., and Maruf has since the spring been the owner of Bliss Bistro, formerly Bliss, at the corner of Skillman Avenue and 44th Street.
Community Board 2 District Manager Debbie Markell-Kleinert announced another graffiti cleanup day on Saturday, September 29, the staging area to be Sunnyside Reformed Church, Skillman Avenue and 48th Street.