March 2015 Juniper Berry Magazine - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.
March Juniper Berry Magazine

March 2015 Juniper Berry

The Juniper Berry magazine has a rich tradition in the communities of Middle Village, Maspeth and Elmhurst. It was first published in 1938. The quarterly magazine is an all-volunteer effort and contains articles on crime prevention, neighborhood issues, meeting reports and notices, neighborhood history and photographs, guest articles, editorials and more.

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Things that are Dumb: The answer is  blowin' in the wind

Things that are Dumb: The answer is blowin' in the wind

The long-armed "Corvington" lamppost, originally dubbed the "boulevard post" first appeared around 1900, give or take a few years, and were manufactured to illuminate wider roads, such as Broadway north of Columbus Circle, that the narrow Bishop Crooks couldn't handle. In the early days of the century, dozens of different lamppost designs appeared, but the bulk of them eventually shook down to the Corvingtons, Crooks, Type Fs for side streets, and Twinlamps for intersections and center medians (they also found work on 7th Avenue).

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Things that are Dumb: Community drives stay unshoveled

Things that are Dumb: Community drives stay unshoveled

In what can only be described as ridiculous pettiness, Middle Village and Maspeth homeowners who co-own community driveways are refusing to shovel the snow that accumulates along them as well as the sidewalks they cross.

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Things that are Dumb: HYDRANT LEAK HAZARD

Things that are Dumb: HYDRANT LEAK HAZARD

For several days in February, neighbors had reported a constantly leaking hydrant on 73rd Ave off Metropolitan Ave to 311. The hydrant was causing a pool of water to form that would freeze over, creating a hazard. Area residents were also concerned about being held responsible for the problem, as city law requires homeowners to clear the sidewalk in front of their property.

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Things that are Dumb: No Barrel left behind

Things that are Dumb: No Barrel left behind

The NYC Department of Transportation paved Caldwell Avenue last fall from 74th to 80th Streets. As usual DOT left something behind.

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Things that are Dumb: Report crime to the right place!

Things that are Dumb: Report crime to the right place!

ince the advent of social media over the past decade or so, we've noticed an interesting phenomenon. It seems that nowadays, instead of reporting problems to 311 or 911, people are signing onto Facebook, Twitter, etc. and posting about the issue there. No matter what community-focused Facebook site you log into (including JPCA's Facebook page), there are postings from people who claim to have witnessed crimes occurring, those posting photos of infractions, etc.

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Things that are Dumb: Cyberbullies vs. the civic-minded

Things that are Dumb: Cyberbullies vs. the civic-minded

We've also noticed another disturbing trend: the bullying of people reporting problems. This isn't being done by elected officials or the police but rather by fellow community members. Several times on our own Facebook page, we have witnessed members report an issue of concern only to have others tell them to shut up, or that the issue is not serious enough to warrant a complaint.

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Things that are Dumb: When the solution becomes a problem

Things that are Dumb: When the solution becomes a problem

The vinyl mural that was hung across the chain-link fence surrounding the former Mobil gas station at Fresh Pond Rd & Metropolitan area as a "revitalization" attempt became an eyesore itself.

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Things that are Dumb: Why the big secret?

Things that are Dumb: Why the big secret?

As you no doubt are aware, the coalition known as CURES (Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions), of which Juniper Civic is a founding member, has been advocating for cleaner rail operations, against idling, noisy, polluting trains, and for upgrades to locomotives owned by freight lines. CURES also partnered with the railroads to beautify areas alongside railroad property. The efforts of the people involved with CURES have been successful in getting a lot of what they asked for. So what is the logical response from the powers that be? Create an "anti-CURES" group.

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Things that are Dumb: Dumb & Dumber

Things that are Dumb: Dumb & Dumber

Most bridge areas in our community go unshoveled and become dangerous such as in this photo of the sidewalk over the CSX bridge on Grand Ave.

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BERRY BITS: Have you seen this man?

BERRY BITS: Have you seen this man?

Four Queens banks were robbed late last year, and police believe the perp revisited Astoria Bank on February 4th and Capital One bank on February 14th, both on Metropolitan Ave. Police say that the suspect went into the Astoria Bank at 75-25 Metropolitan Ave in Middle Village at about 11:35 a.m. He did not display a weapon, but he passed a note that demanded cash. The teller handed over $8,000 and the suspect fled eastbound on Metropolitan Avenue.

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BERRY BITS: Move to make City trucks safer

BERRY BITS: Move to make City trucks safer

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the City will begin retrofitting more than 200 City trucks with side guards in 2015 as part of its Vision Zero program. Side guards are rails between the front and rear wheels of a truck that can protect pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists from being caught under the vehicle in case of a collision with the side of a truck. In New York City trucks are only 3.6 percent of vehicles on the road, but collisions with trucks account for 12.3 percent of pedestrian fatalities and 32 percent of bicyclist fatalities.

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BERRY BITS: Message in a Bottle

BERRY BITS: Message in a Bottle

Last year, an interesting discovery was made at Highland Park. Across the street from the Ridgewood Reservoir, along Vermont Place, is the main parking lot. Just to the north of the parking lot is a wooded area. After a storm, one of the trees there had blown over. Gordon Lam, who was visiting the park with his wife, Lori, noticed that one of the toppled tree's roots was lodged inside a bottle.

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BERRY BITS: Kudos to Miller

BERRY BITS: Kudos to Miller

Good work by Assemblyman Miller, for requesting funding for a sound and vibration study that addresses noise pollution and damage from freight train operations! CURES has been calling for a scientific noise and vibration engineering study and recommendations for mitigations by an engineering firm experienced in rail noise abatement.

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BERRY BITS: Victory on 58th road

BERRY BITS: Victory on 58th road

In the last issue of the Juniper Berry, we brought you the story of the Maher Family, who had been vacated from their Maspeth home in October after a partial collapse of the house's foundation. They had been living in a hotel because State Farm refused to honor their claim and they did not have the money to start repairs.

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BERRY BIT: New traffic signals installed along Woodhaven Blvd

BERRY BIT: New traffic signals installed along Woodhaven Blvd

As part of Vision Zero, more visible traffic signals are being installed along Woodhaven Blvd.

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BERRY BITS: Electronic Waste Ban Now in Effect

BERRY BITS: Electronic Waste Ban Now in Effect

As of January 2015, it is illegal to discard electronics in the trash or at the curb. The electronics covered by this New York State law include computers and their peripherals, televisions, fax machines, VCRs, DVD players, printers/scanners, video game consoles, MP3 players, tablets, and small servers. See nyc.gov/electronics for more information.

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BERRY BITS: Block sidewalk, pay hefty fine

BERRY BITS: Block sidewalk, pay hefty fine

In the Sept/Oct 2014 issue of the Juniper Berry we warned residents that this practice of blocking the sidewalk with a car is both dangerous and illegal.

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The Return of Tunnel Vision

The Return of Tunnel Vision

In May 2004 the NYC Economic Development Corporation released a proposal for a Cross Harbor Railroad Freight Tunnel linking New Jersey with Brooklyn. The tunnel was The brainchild of Manhattan Congressman Jerrold Nadler. The Juniper Park Civic Association successfully fought the plan that would have brought as many as 16,000 trucks a day to our neighborhood. Now a recycled tunnel plan is being proposed by the Port Authority of NY/NJ and Nadler with a very similar impact on our community.

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Sunnyside Yards plan requires strong local review

Sunnyside Yards plan requires strong local review

There is a proposal to move the Javits Center to Queens, but it should not go forward without input from the thousands of residents who live in the neighborhoods nearby.

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Close the door already!

Close the door already!

Why doesn't Albany start the ball rolling on eliminating the "right to shelter" to anyone that seeks it? If this sounds cold-hearted, consider this: An increasing number of people from outside the City of New York have b

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The War Hits Home

The War Hits Home

In the 1930's and 40's, Eddie Hoyt lived on the 2nd floor of a two family house on the corner of 58th Road and 74th Street in Maspeth. An only child, his father Harold was a train engineer whose daily runs would regularly take him within blocks of their five-room apartment. Every time his locomotive would pass near Caldwell Avenue, Harold Hoyt would sound the train's whistle to signal his wife and son that dad was nearby. Most of Maspeth also knew when Mr. Hoyt was near as the loud whistle would echo throughout the quiet neighborhood. When Eddie was younger, he would often run down the street to catch a glimpse of his father's train as it rumbled past, bellowing smoke that would dissipate slowly above the trees.

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Forest Park's lost WWI Memorial

Forest Park's lost WWI Memorial

Part I In the days and months after World War 1 ended, communities around the country were looking for ways to memorialize the sacrifices of the young men who never came home. Less than two weeks after the war ended onNovember 11th, 1918, Queens Parks Commissioner (and Glendale resident) Albert C. Benninger announced plans to "erect a memorial tablet in one of the parks in Queens, probably Forest Park, for the soldiers of this borough who lost their lives in battle."

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OP-ED: Can America  Stop  Collapsing?

OP-ED: Can America Stop Collapsing?

Spying on citizens and undermining political rivals using government agencies with impunity. Dividing and conquering the population by using a government controlled media propaganda machine while economically subjugating present and future generations by spending and borrowing ever-increasing amounts of money with no end in sight and no possibility of any repercussions. These are not the actions of a nation that is moving ahead but a nation that is in the final stages of collapse.

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PROTECT YOURSELF with Crime Prevention Programs

PROTECT YOURSELF with Crime Prevention Programs

The following FREE Crime Prevention Programs are offered to the public. Residential & Commercial Surveys – The Pct. Crime Prevention Officer will visit your home, apartment or business and conduct a security survey. A security survey consists of a thorough analysis of your home, apartment or business and its environment to determine the effectiveness of the present security. A confidential written report is then provided with the Crime Prevention Officer's evaluation and recommendations that improve the security of the residence or commercial premise.

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Business Spotlight: Mario's Meats & Gourmet Deli

Business Spotlight: Mario's Meats & Gourmet Deli

I had the opportunity recently to talk to Joe DiGangi, who is now the owner of Mario's Meats & Gourmet Deli in Middle Village. Joe bought the business over two years ago from his Mother, who had managed the store when her husband, Mario, passed away several years ago.

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Helter Shelter

Helter Shelter

NYC's Department of Homeless Services (DHS) continues to operate in a manner that jeopardizes the safety of the most vulnerable of their clients as well as continuing to have a total lack of disregard for the communities in which they operate.

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Misleading investigative report leads to misleading conclusions.

Misleading investigative report leads to misleading conclusions.

On October 8, 2014 Arnold Diaz, a consumer reporter of the television show "PIX11 Investigates" visited All Faiths Cemetery with his cameraman and a person who contacted Diaz to help locate a plot occupied by his great grandmother and his great aunt.

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Great Neighborhood Homes

Great Neighborhood Homes

The communities of Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale have some great homes. To recognize them the Juniper Berry highlights properties that our staff reviews. If you know of a great home in the community or think that you have a home that should be recognized, please send us a photo and/or the address.

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Q&A with Familiar Faces: Mary Murphy

Q&A with Familiar Faces: Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the immensely popular, gregarious and dedicated crossing guard stationed at the intersection of Juniper Valley Road and 80th Street by Saint Margaret's. Her unbridled energy, enthusiasm and good-naturedness, along with her ability to be constantly aware of the traffic conditions, has made Mary the effective and respected crossing guard she is. She is known for her dry sense of humor, and she is a good listener, especially to those who would not hesitate to talk to her about what ails them.

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Where was Nassau Heights?

Where was Nassau Heights?

For almost 100 years, the town of Middle Village had an identity crisis. The area was settled around 1816 by people of English descent and was named in the early nineteenth-century for its location as the midpoint between the then-towns of Williamsburg (Brooklyn) and Jamaica (Queens) on the Williamsburgh and Jamaica Turnpike (now Metropolitan Avenue), which opened in 1816. It took years for the name to catch on, many people called the northern part, Maspeth or later Elmhurst.

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KAMPERMANN'S KORNER: No Silver lining for Shelly as his reign in Albany abruptly ends

KAMPERMANN'S KORNER: No Silver lining for Shelly as his reign in Albany abruptly ends

Silver clouds on the horizon, as meteorologist well know, indicate that a storm is coming. Shelly Silver has been riding his horse named corruption from Albany to Manhattan and throughout the cities and towns of New York State for more than a dozen years. So, it will indeed be interesting and good drama for New Yorkers to learn just who Shelly Silver has had helping him build his network of corruption and where and when it happened. Lawyers live in a world of quid pro quo or "something for something." And, as my mother once said, "It takes two to Tango."

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School Reunion Time Machine

School Reunion Time Machine

It was a time machine of a different sort... stepping back in time yet seeing one's future through the eyes of their youth. This is what happened to twenty-two alumni as we attended the first reunion of the 1974 graduating class of Public School 49 in Middle Village. The reunion, on September 20, 2014, was the first time that many of us had seen each other in 40 years.

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Killy's Korner

Killy's Korner

Send info and photos to: KillysKorner@aol.com or info@junipercivic.com or write: Juniper Berry PO Box 790275 Middle Village, NY 11379

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IDENTIFYING INDOOR ALLERGENS

IDENTIFYING INDOOR ALLERGENS

Allergies and irritants are not limited to the outdoors. In fact, we spent more time indoors inhaling allergens and noxious pollutants. These allergens have the greatest impact on our health. Here are some ways we can make indoor air healthy.

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Eyesores

Eyesores

Thankfully, the vast majority of property owners in Middle Village & Maspeth take pride in the appearance and well-being of our neighborhood. But a few property owners have a total disregard for the condition of their property. So we induct these properties into this month's Hall of Shame. If you see properties in disarray, call 311. And please send them to us for possible inclusion in our neighborhood hall of shame. Graffiti images on this page have been altered to not give vandals notoriety. Send to: info@junipercivic.com or mail to: Juniper Berry Eyesores, PO Box 275 Middle Village, NY 11379

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Joseph Bermel: stonecutter, politician, scoundrel?

Joseph Bermel: stonecutter, politician, scoundrel?

Joseph Bermel (April 8, 1860 ‒ July 28, 1921) was a Democratic politician from Queens. He is best known for resigning from the post of Borough President for his involvement in a corruption scandal, upon which he fled the country in 1908.

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