Today’s news:

Van Bramer lands $30K for anti-graffiti hotline

For western Queens residents and shop owners who have had their buildings tagged or otherwise vandalized by graffiti, City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s (D-Sunnyside) new hotline will lessen their hardship at no cost.

In conjunction with the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and CitySolve, a graffiti-removal organization, Van Bramer has secured $30,000 for an anti-graffiti hotline, his office said.

Residents of Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, Hunters Point, Dutch Kills, Blissville, Astoria and Maspeth can call 718-383-9566, Ext. 3, and put in a request for a local clean-up crew to remove any graffiti on their buildings. The clean-up crews will arrive within seven days and clean at no cost to the resident. Residents can also contact the hotline at vanbramerfightsgraffiti@gmail.com.

“Graffiti vandalism cannot and will not be tolerated in our communities,” Van Bramer said.

Charnee Perez, spokeswoman for Van Bramer, said the hotline came about when the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce applied for discretionary funding from Van Bramer. The chamber used the funds to secure CitySolve as a clean-up crew for the district. CitySolve will continue to operate the cleaning crews for the hotline.

This hotline will be remain in service until June 2011, as the funds are allocated for FY 2011, which ends next June, Perez said. She said if the program is successful, the office hopes to renew it.

In addition to the hotline, Van Bramer’s office has also targeted four areas for graffiti cleanup and consistent maintenance: Woodside Avenue between 69th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, 47th Avenue between 38th and 51st streets, Broadway between 38th to 58th streets and 21st Street between Queens Boulevard and 34th Avenue.

To kick off the program, Van Bramer removed graffiti at the 99-cent store on 58th Street and Woodside Avenue Aug. 10.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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