Tag Archives: Sunnyside

Dmytro Fedkowskyj mulling a run against Assemblymember Marge Markey


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Dominick Totino Photography

There may be a showdown in the Democratic primary race for Assembly District 30 later this year.

Middle Village resident Dmytro Fedkowskyj, a former member of the city’s Panel for Education Policy (PEP), which serves to improve the welfare of schools and students in the city, is giving a lot of thought about running against incumbent Marge Markey.

“I had many people come up to me and ask me, ‘what are you going to do now? You’ve tackled and handled that job so well, why don’t you run for office,’” Fedkowskyj said, referring to his time on the PEP.

District 30 is comprised of Maspeth, Woodside and parts of Long Island City, Middle Village, Astoria and Sunnyside.

Fedkowskyj, an accountant and father of three, was a member of the PEP for five years, since former Borough President Helen Marshall appointed him in 2008.

He advocated for Queens students and parents in the position, until he resigned on December 31, as Marshall left office.

Former colleagues say what makes Fedkowskyj special is his ability to draw people together.

A graduate of Grover Cleveland High School, Fedkowskyj is an alum of SUNY Empire State College. He started his community outreach with Community Education Council District 24 in 2004. He served as chair of the School Construction and Zoning Committee before he was appointed to the PEP. Fedkowskyj also served as a trustee for the city’s Board of Education Retirement System from 2008 to 2013.

Despite his experience, challenging Markey, who has held office since 1998, may be difficult. Markey has won at least 60 percent of votes in her last three elections against Republican opponents. But given that the area is mostly Democratic, Fedkowskyj criticized her wins.

“In an Assembly district that holds almost 2-1 Democrat over Republican voters, one has to question why she hasn’t won a general election by a larger margin,” Fedkowskyj said. “Maybe voters are just looking for change.”

Michael Armstrong, a spokesperson for Markey, said that she will run for re-election, but didn’t comment on Fedkowskyj.

Photo courtesy of Assemblymember Marge Markey

 

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Cops: Armed robbery suspects tie up Sunnyside cell phone store workers


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Two suspects tied up the employees of a Sunnyside cell phone store during an armed robbery last month before taking off with cash and electronics, police said.

The incident occurred about 9 p.m. on Dec. 19 at a T-Mobile store on Queens Boulevard near 46th Street, according to the NYPD.

The two male suspects entered the business after it was closed, displayed guns and ordered employees to the rear of the store where they were zip-tied, police said. They then removed cash and electronics, and fled the store.

No injuries were reported, the NYPD said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Thursday: A mix of clouds and sun. High 41. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph. Thursday night: Cloudy. Low 36. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: New Sounds of East and West

Set in a quaint, Gothic style church, Project Hansori’s concert will present new original music centered on Asian-infused jazz. Free, donation suggested. Starts at 7 p.m at All Saints Church in Sunnyside. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Melissa Mark-Viverito says she has support to become next City Council speaker

Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito is claiming she will have enough votes in the City Council to become its next speaker. Read more: The Queens Courier 

Immigrant population highest in a century

The percentage of immigrants in New York City’s population is the highest it’s been in a century. Read more: New York Post

Bloomberg’s meddling ways on unions don’t sit well with de Blasio

Michael Bloomberg has offered an unprecedented challenge to his successor to slash union benefits — for the good of the city — even if it means he doesn’t get re-elected. Read more: CBS New York 

DeBlasio picks ‘true progressive’ for budget director

Describing him as a “true progressive,” Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio appointed a former top fiscal aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as the city’s next budget director. Read more: New York Post

Millions of Target customers’ credit, debit card accounts may be hit by data breach

Approximately 40 million credit and debit card accounts used by Target customers may have been impacted by a major data breach, the retailer said Thursday. Read more: NBC News 

 

Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars makes $10K donation to local charities, groups after holiday pub crawl


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars

Less than a week after the Santas came to Sunnyside, the first wave of toys was donated to local charities and groups.

Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars, a collective of 10 bars and restaurants on and around Queens Boulevard, held their Second Annual Sunnyside Santathon pub crawl for charity on December 7 where they raised $10,000 in monetary and toy donations.

The participating bars were Bar 43, The Courtyard Ale House, Maggie Mae’s, The Gaslight, Arriba Arriba, Sidetracks, Molly Blooms, PJ Horgan’s, McGuinness Pub and Bliss Street Station.

The collective made their first donation Thursday at the United Forties Civic Association Holiday Party at St. Teresa’s Church in Woodside where they were joined by representatives from the church, St. Raphael’s Church, 108th Precinct Captain Brian Hennessy and Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. The group also donated money to the food pantries at both churches.

“It just feels fantastic to be able to give back to the community,” said Liz Taylor, manager of Bliss Street Station. “The little kids will wake up Christmas morning and have something to play with.”

The organizations receiving toys include St. Teresa’s and St. Raphael’s Church, the 108th Precinct Toy Drive, MercyFirst Angel Guardian Orphanage in Brooklyn and Metro Homeless Shelter.

This year’s donations doubled from the inaugural Santathon last year. All who took part this year were dressed in their best Santa attire, and some even came as Santa’s little helpers.

“It was great to get together,” said Patrick Burke, owner of The Courtyard Ale House. “It shows the hard work we did really paid off. It was tremendous, we exceeded our expectation.”

Monetary and new, unwrapped toy donations are still being accepted at the 10 bars of Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars up until Christmas.




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NY Comptroller DiNapoli: ‘Queens is a New York success story’


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

Queens is on a roll and isn’t stopping any time soon, according to New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“Queens is a New York success story,” DiNapoli said. “Superstorm Sandy impacted thousands of Queens residents, but the borough is on the recovery path. With a strong economy, a fast growing and diverse population, and several large projects on the horizon, Queens is booming.”

DiNapoli gathered with local elected officials and community leaders at Silvercup Studios in Long Island City Friday to release an economic snapshot of Queens, revealing how the borough has made an economic comeback over the past two years since the Great Recession.

According to the report, since 2012 the borough has had the highest level of employment among all the boroughs outside of Manhattan as private sector employment reached its highest recorded level of 486, 160 jobs. The largest employment sectors in Queens include health care, social assistance, transportation and, warehousing and retail trade.

“A look around the communities of Long Island City, Sunnyside, Woodside and Astoria show what Comptroller DiNapoli’s excellent report illustrates – that the economy of Queens is back on track,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer.

The borough’s population has also grown by 20 percent over the past three decades, more than the citywide growth rate, according to the report.

The state comptroller’s economic snapshot also found that Queens is the most diverse large county in the United States, with immigrants from more than 120 countries making 48 percent of residents, with not a single dominant ethnic group.

In 2011, the borough had 44,070 business establishments with small businesses leading in the area, according to the report.

The report also found unemployment to be lower in the borough compared to the rest of the city. The unemployment rate averaged 8.3 percent in 2012 and in the first eight months of 2013 dropped to 7.8 percent.

“These numbers show that Queens has weathered the worst of the storm,” said Queens Borough President-elect Melinda Katz. “With nearly half a million Queens workers fueling growth and innovation in the private sector, our borough has moved past the Great Recession that gripped the entire country in recent years, As Borough President, I will build on the successful work of state leaders like Comptroller DiNapoli to ensure we continue creating jobs and growing the economy for all New Yorkers.”

Together with the number of jobs and low unemployment rate, film and television production have both been thriving in the borough. Silvercup Studios, with 410,000 square feet of space and 19 soundstages, is the biggest studio space in the city and Kaufman Astoria Studios has seven soundstages and the city’s only outdoor movie set.

“I just think that film and television production is a mutual part of New York and Queens and of surrounding areas and it provides jobs,” said actor Michael J. Fox, who is filming “The Michael J. Fox Show” at Silvercup Studios. “I want to voice whatever support I can to continue nurturing film and television production in New York, it’s a big part of the city. “

 

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Santas come to Sunnyside for charity pub crawl


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

The Santas arrived in Sunnyside to celebrate a festive night for charity.

Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars, a collective of 10 bars and restaurants on and around Queens Boulevard, held their Second Annual Sunnyside Santathon pub crawl for charity on Saturday.

All who took part in this year’s Santathon were dressed in their best Santa attire, and some even came as Santa’s little helpers.

During the event, participants picked up $10 wristbands from the 10 participating bars, providing them with $3 drink specials.

The participating bars were Bar 43, The Courtyard Ale House, Maggie Mae’s, The Gaslight, Arriba Arriba, Sidetracks, Molly Blooms, PJ Horgan’s, McGuinness Pub and Bliss Street Station.

Brian Scutch, 27, from Bayside heard about the holiday event from his friend Travis Silverstein, 29, who lives in Sunnyside. The two friends decided to put on their best Santa hats and start their crawl at Bar 43.

“Who wouldn’t participate?” said Scutch, 27. “You’re given the opportunity to drink with fellow Santas.”

Silverstein knew he had attend this year’s Santathon after moving in to the neighborhood too late last year to join the inaugural pub crawl.

“I love Christmas,” said Silverstein. “Christmas is one of my favorite holidays of the year.”

All money raised at this year’s festive bar crawl will go to buy toys for local kids in need during the holiday season. During the next few weeks the group plans to go out to buy the toys and personally donate them to local organizations.

“When you see the smiles on kids’ faces, you know it’s all for a good cause,” said Nicholas Murphy, general manager at Bar 43, who hopes to surpass the almost $5,000 collected during last year’s Santathon. “We want to try to keep it clean and no trouble. We want to have fun and raise money for the children.”

Each bar is also collecting new, unwrapped toy donations until Christmas.

“Honestly it’s all for the kids to get toys for Christmas,” said Patrick Burke, owner of The Courtyard Ale House, who saw the amount of participants triple this year. “It’s growing, which is great to see. It’s a lot of fun, I’m really looking forward to the night.”

During last year’s inaugural Santathon, Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars collected almost $5,000 and hundreds of toys. Toys were donated to St. Teresa’s in Woodside, St. Raphael’s in Sunnyside, the 108th Precinct, the Metro homeless shelter on Queens Boulevard, Hour Children Center in Long Island City and more.

For more information on Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars, click here.

 

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Sunnyside bars, restaurants to host Santathon pub crawl for charity


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Map Courtesy of Sunnyside's Boulevard Bars

The Santas are coming to town.

Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars, a collective of 10 bars and restaurants on and around Queens Boulevard, will be holding their Second Annual Sunnyside Santathon pub crawl for charity on Saturday starting at 3 p.m.

Whoever wants to participate must be dressed in their best Santa attire and can pick up $10 wristbands at any of the participating bars. Wristbands will allow participants to purchase $3 drink specials throughout the event. Any Santa can also submit their email address to be entered to win various gift vouchers to any of the 10 bars.

The participating bars are Bar 43, The Courtyard Ale House, Maggie Mae’s, The Gaslight, Arriba Arriba, Sidetracks, Molly Blooms, PJ Horgan’s, McGuinness Pub and Bliss Street Station.

All money raised at this year’s festive bar crawl will go to buy toys for local kids in need during the holiday season.

Each bar is also collecting new, unwrapped toy donations until Christmas.

“We formed Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars to create events as a group that would bring more business to the area, really make it a destination spot and highlight what a great neighborhood we have here,” said Pat Burke, owner of The Courtyard Ale House. “Once we got together, we also saw the opportunity to raise funds for charities, specifically local organizations. Our group is still relatively new, but we are excited about what we have done and will continue to do to promote Sunnyside and give back to the community.”

During last year’s inaugural Santathon, Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars collected almost $5,000 and collected hundreds of toys. Toys were donated to St. Teresa’s in Woodside, St. Raphael’s in Sunnyside, the 108th Precinct, the Metro homeless shelter on Queens Boulevard, Hour Children Center in Long Island City and more.

For more information on Sunnyside’s Boulevard Bars, click here.

Sunnyside’s Santathon is just a week shy from the annual SantaCon which takes place on Saturday, December 14 in Manhattan and hops over to Brooklyn. SantaCon was under some harsh criticisms from residents complaining the participants drink too much and disturb the peace.

Yet, according to reports, the organizers of the pub crawl plan on giving the NYPD and elected officials a map of the event and will have volunteers make sure all participants behave.

 

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Suspect sought in string of Queens bank robberies


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of NYPD

Cops are  looking for a man who they say robbed three banks across Queens this fall.

During each incident the suspect passes a demand note and flees with cash, said police.

The first robbery took place inside of the Flushing Savings Bank at 188-08 Hollis Court Boulevard in Flushing on October 25. He then robbed a Chase Bank at 47-11 Queens Boulevard in Sunnyside and a second Chase Bank location at 31-05 30th Avenue in Astoria on November 25, said cops.

Police described the suspect as a white male last seen wearing a black ski cap, black jacket, eyeglasses and carrying a black backpack.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Cops looking for Sunnyside burglar


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are searching for a suspect wanted for an October burglary in Sunnyside.

On October 7, the suspect entered 41-32 44th Street through a balcony door and took jewelry and electronics, said cops.

 

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DOT begins process to bring Citi Bike to Astoria


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

Citi Bike is slowly pedaling its way into western Queens.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has begun the process of bringing the Citi Bike Share Program into Long Island City, Sunnyside and now Astoria, by getting community input from Community Boards (CB) 1 and 2.

On Tuesday, the DOT began the first step of a long planning process of bringing Citi Bike to Astoria by introducing the plan to residents and board members during CB 1’s monthly meeting. Officials said this is only the beginning of a process that will take months and various community feedback meetings.

In August, State Senator Michael Gianaris announced he was working with the DOT to include Astoria in the future plans, which initially only included Long Island City and Sunnyside as Queens Citi Bike locations.

“I think it’s a great program that would provide unique benefits to western Queens,” said Gianaris. “I’m anxious to see a good program to include Queens as opposed to just Manhattan and Brooklyn.”

Gianaris said his push for the Citi Bike in western Queens arose after receiving a lot of input from residents and businesses. He also said it would work better for this area because although there are mass transit options available, some residents live a distance away from train stations. People from outside the area would be able to get to local restaurants, museums and other western Queens attractions.

The DOT will now conduct public discussions, collecting resident feedback and suggesting possible station locations in Astoria.

The senator said the only big community concern is fear that the DOT could remove parking spaces when they install the Citi Bike stations.

“We have to do the work to get it done now,” said Gianaris.

After the planning process is completed, the DOT will then have to find the funding for the stations.

The DOT has completed the planning process and station location selection with CB 2 for the neighborhoods of Sunnyside and Long Island City. Working together with the community, 11 locations have been selected and the DOT is waiting for resources to become available to install those stations.

The 11 locations are either in no-parking areas, sidewalks, public parks and plazas, or private property. A map of the planned stations can be found at http://a841-tfpweb.nyc.gov/bikeshare/station-map.

Long Island City was supposed to be part of the Citi Bike’s initial phase, which debuted in May, but was pushed back after equipment damages from Superstorm Sandy caused a delay.

 

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Sunnyside kicks off season with Holiday Lighting Ceremony


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Angy Altamirano

The holidays have officially begun in Sunnyside.

The Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, Sunnyside Chambers of Commerce, local elected officials and community members gathered on Tuesday for the Sunnyside Holiday Lighting Ceremony.

Residents of all ages got the chance to meet and take picture with Santa and listen to the Sunnyside Drum Corps while they sipped hot chocolate provided by White Castle. Bing’s Hallmark, located at 45-15 Greenpoint Avenue, also provided holiday ornaments to hang during the ceremony.

Photo courtesy of Luke Adams

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer led the countdown with the community to light up the holiday lights.

After the lighting ceremony some attendees got together for an Italian dinner at Dazies Restaurant located at 39-41 Queens Boulevard.

Photo courtesy of Luke Adams

 

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Woodside gets more room to learn


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of SCA

Shovels full of dirt hit the ground to alleviate overcrowded classrooms in Woodside.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer gathered with city officials and the community on November 15 at the corner of 58th Street and 39th Avenue to break ground on the construction of P.S. 339.

“This new school is going to help so much here in Woodside,” said Van Bramer. “Here in Woodside, in our district, we have a serious overcrowding situation and I’m so thrilled that we’ve had a lot of these groundbreakings and that we’re building a lot of new schools in our district. The children of Woodside, Sunnyside and Long Island City deserve nothing but the very best.”

P.S. 339 is one of six new schools expected to be fully operational by 2016 in western Queens. Located at 39-07 57th Street, it will serve 472 students from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.

The new five-story building will feature 22 standard classrooms, two special-education classrooms, multiple resource rooms, a music classroom, art classroom and “gymatorium.” The school will also have a library, cafeteria, kitchen, a community room, a general use and early childhood playground, and administrative, guidance and medical offices.

P.S. 339 is slated to open September 2015, with the facility fully operational by 2016.

Along with the new school, Van Bramer also announced the construction of a state-of-the-art extension to nearby P.S. 11, located at 54-25 Skillman Ave, which will add 350 seats and is expected to be open by 2016.

“I am so excited that this is happening,” said Anna Efkarpides, principal of P.S. 11. “It’s for our community. It’s not my school, your school, it’s a school for Woodside children.”


Members of the Woodside community, School Construction Authority representatives and local elected officials broke ground on the construction of P.S. 339, which is expected to be fully operational by 2016. (THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano)

 

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Two bodies found inside Sunnyside apartment


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Cops discovered the bodies of two Sunnyside residents inside their home Tuesday morning.

Police, responding to a the report of a foul odor inside of 43-33 46th Street, entered the home around 12 p.m. yesterday and found 47-year-old Diana Rodriguez and 59-year-old Kevin Flannelly unconscious and unresponsive inside the living room, according to the NYPD.

EMS responded to the location and pronounced Rodriguez and Flannelly at the scene.

There is no apparent trauma to both individuals and medical examiner’s office will determine the cause of death, said police.

 

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First Sunnyside Restaurant Week to be held Nov. 4-8


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo by Arthur Rosenfield, OurLIC

Get ready to dine in Sunnyside.

The Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District (BID) is holding its first-ever Sunnyside Restaurant Week from November 4 to 8.

The five-day celebration will offer participants a “culinary journey through Sunnyside,” featuring special three course dinner menus for $25 at 17 participating local restaurants. Six of the 17 will also feature two course lunch menus for $10.

Along with indulging in cuisines from all around the world, Sunnyside Restaurant Week will also feature site-specific art installations, titled “Conveying the Invisible,” curated by No Longer Empty, a contemporary arts organization.

Photo by Bradley Hawks

The artworks for the week will bring visitors a combination of space, food and art.

“This collaboration has given exposure for emerging curators and artists and brings the art experience to new audiences,” said Naomi Hersson-Ringskog, executive director of No Longer Empty.

Three artists will be on-site on Monday, November 4 and the opening reception for the week will be at Venturo, located at 44-07 Queens Boulevard, at 5:30 p.m.

“Sunnyside Restaurant Week is an exciting opportunity to highlight the neighborhood as a creative district with great restaurants,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director of the Sunnyside Shines BID. “We hope to draw new people to the neighborhood as well as inspire Sunnyside residents to discover new art and restaurants they haven’t tried yet.”

Photo courtesy of Takesushi 

The 17 Sunnyside restaurants, which can be found on Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue, include: Arriba Arriba, Bliss 46 Bistro, Bliss Street Station, Bucharest Restaurant, Dazies Restaurant, Dee Thai, I Love Paraguay, Malingo, Mario’s Restaurant, Molly Blooms, New York Style Eats, Nodus, PJ Horgan’s, Sidetracks, Takesushi, Turkish Grill and Venturo.

The six restaurants offering the lunch menus are Arriba Arriba, Bliss Street Station, Bucharest Restaurant, Molly Blooms, Nodus and Takesushi.

The project is partially funded by the Avenue NYC program administered by the New York City Department of Small Business Services.

Menus for each of the restaurants and details on each art installation can be found on www.sunnysideshines.org/sunnyside-restaurant-week.

 

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Police put out new call for information in Sunnyside murder


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Sketches courtesy of NYPD

Nearly a year after Sunnyside resident Lou Rispoli was brutally killed in Sunnyside, police are renewing calls for clues in the case.

Around midnight on October 20, 2012, Rispoli, 62, left his Sunnyside home for a late night walk as he sometimes did to quell his insomnia. At roughly 2 a.m. on 43rd Avenue between 41st and 42nd Street, two unidentified men approached Rispoli, exchanging in a brief conversation before striking him over the head with a blunt object. He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where he died from his injuries on October 25.

According to an eyewitness, a third perpetrator acted as the getaway driver.

Rispoli lived in Sunnyside with his husband for over 30 years. It was not clear if the victim’s sexual orientation had anything to do with the attack or whether or not he was robbed.

The incident is being investigated by the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force as a possible bias crime, said police.

In January, the NYPD released sketches of two suspects wanted in connection to the homicide.

Authorities describe the suspects as a Hispanic male in his thirties and a white male in his twenties. The suspects possibly fled in a white or grey four door sedan with a loud muffler.

A $22,000 reward has been offered for any information leading to the arrest and conviction for the persons responsible for Rispoli’s homicide.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  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. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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