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

June 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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BERRY BITS: Have you seen this man? One bank bandit busted, another still out there

BERRY BITS: Have you seen this man? One bank bandit busted, another still out there

Just as the last issue of the Juniper Berry went to press, Captain Manson informed us that the robber that had targeted banks throughout our area had been arrested after passing a note at the Capital One Bank on Forest Avenue in Ridgewood. The perpetrator's name is Reuben McLaughlin, he is 24-years old and from Brooklyn. This fellow is now looking at decades in prison. Great work by the 104th Precinct in apprehending this individual!

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Organics Recycling extended to the rest of Maspeth and Middle Village

Organics Recycling extended to the rest of Maspeth and Middle Village

The New York City Department of Sanitation has again expanded the NYC Organics voluntary curbside food and yard waste recycling program, extending it to the rest of Maspeth and Middle Village as of May 18. All single family homes and buildings with nine or fewer residential units will be automatically enrolled in the voluntary program. Residential buildings with 10 or more units may apply to participate. Building managers may find more information on the application process at nyc.gov/apt-recycling.

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BERRY BITS: Maspeth High School  tightening standards

BERRY BITS: Maspeth High School tightening standards

The Maspeth High School, which currently gives priority to District 24 students, is considering changing its admission standards to exclude local children with less stellar grades. According to Joanne Berger, I.S. 73 PTA president, school administrators are petitioning the Community Education Council of District 24 (CEC 24) for a change in its enrollment criteria.

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BERRY BITS: Abbracciamento's  project on hold

BERRY BITS: Abbracciamento's project on hold

You may have noticed that Abbracciamento's Restaurant and its attached storefronts still have not been demolished.

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BERRY BITS: Bioswales to be installed along Maspeth & Middle Village streets

BERRY BITS: Bioswales to be installed along Maspeth & Middle Village streets

The NYC DEP is installing bioswales ‒ or curbside gardens ‒ along sidewalks in Maspeth and Middle Village. The program aims to reduce stormwater runoff, which contributes to combined sewer overflows that pollute Newtown Creek.

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BERRY BITS: Rubbing them out

BERRY BITS: Rubbing them out

The 104th Precinct has been cracking down lately on businesses that promote themselves as "spas" but are really fronts for prostitution. The NYPD sends their undercover vice officers in to these businesses to make busts. Two major ones were carried out earlier this year.

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BERRY BITS: What you need to know about your C of O

BERRY BITS: What you need to know about your C of O

You may have heard the term "certificate of occupancy" bandied about with regard to building projects. What a certificate of occupancy does is certify that a building is safe to inhabit. The document lists what the allowable uses are for a building, floor by floor.

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BERRY BITS: New liquor license procedure being considered by CB5

BERRY BITS: New liquor license procedure being considered by CB5

The partygoers from Manhattan and Brooklyn are on their way. They started out on the Lower East Side, but when that got too expensive, they crossed the river to Williamsburg. Then they moved over to Bushwick, and now poor Ridgewood is about to bear the brunt of the quality of life problems that come along with being "the next hot neighborhood."

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BERRY BITS: More trees for western Maspeth

BERRY BITS: More trees for western Maspeth

As a result of a settlement between the City and State with regard to the operation of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, $7M in funding was allocated toward "green" projects along Newtown Creek.

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BERRY BITS: Impact of Stephen Frosch's passing will be felt for a long time

BERRY BITS: Impact of Stephen Frosch's passing will be felt for a long time

Stephen Frosch, a Department of Sanitation worker assigned to the Maspeth garage, died June 21, 2014 while making an adjustment to a street sweeper. The driver of another sweeper vehicle accidentally struck and killed him at the garage. Frosch had grown up in Middle Village and was a married father of 4 children. He started working at the DSNY in 1999 but previously had worked for both the NYPD and FDNY. Last November 19th the Queens West 5 garage was renamed for Frosch and on May 3rd, the street where Frosch grew up, 67th Drive between 78th and 79th Streets, was renamed "Stephen Frosch Way" in his honor.

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The development of Middle Village in the 1920s

The development of Middle Village in the 1920s

Middle Village had been a farming town for centuries, but by the 1920s, things began to change. The opening of bridges to the mainland, providing easier food transportation from large farms outside the city, combined with city policies that encouraged development, jump started Middle Village's transformation from endless acres of fields to a mainly residential area. The wealth gained by many during the Roaring Twenties meant that more people could purchase real estate, and the recently opened 8th Avenue subway line at Queens Blvd drew those who wanted to be able to commute to Manhattan by train.

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Things that are Dumb: The Crowley  compromise

Things that are Dumb: The Crowley compromise

Council Member Elizabeth Crowley has reportedly been pulling community board members into her office and asking them to support a plan to allow manufacturing zones abutting railroad property throughout her district to be converted into residential zones to accommodate the construction of low income housing. She has been pitching this as a way to spread "affordable" housing out across the district which she believes will eliminate the need for a homeless shelter.

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Things that are Dumb: Newly resurfaced Juniper tennis courts full of cracks

Things that are Dumb: Newly resurfaced Juniper tennis courts full of cracks

The United States Tennis Association, as part of the deal that allowed them to take over more parkland at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to build their newest stadium, agreed to refurbish public tennis courts in parks throughout Queens. The Queens Chronicle reported on April 30 that the courts at Juniper that were redone already sport several long cracks, making them unusable by the people that shelled out $200 for a pass to use them.

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Things that are Dumb: Juniper Valley Park leads Queens in playground injuries

Things that are Dumb: Juniper Valley Park leads Queens in playground injuries

City Comptroller Scott Stringer revealed that injuries suffered at playgrounds within Juniper Valley Park led to the second highest number of playground-related personal injury claims filed against the city from 2005 to 2014.

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Things that are Dumb: New Juniper Bocce courts  are a disaster

Things that are Dumb: New Juniper Bocce courts are a disaster

The Queens Courier reported in March that the $800K renovation of the bocce courts at Juniper Valley Park has had less than desirable results.

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Things that are Dumb: Voting rights for non-citizens

Things that are Dumb: Voting rights for non-citizens

Council Member Daniel Dromm, who represents South Elmhurst as part of his district, has introduced a bill that would allow green card holders the right to vote in NYC elections.

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Things that are Dumb: Parks throwing money down the drain

Things that are Dumb: Parks throwing money down the drain

The good news is that Frank Principe (Maurice) Park is due for a $5.7M upgrade. The fields will be redone to prevent ponding and provide better drainage. They also will be designed in such a way to allow the construction of a soccer field, which many Maspeth sports teams and residents have been requesting. The bad news is that it likely will cost a whole lot more than is necessary because of the use of contractors and the fact that this was supposed to happen 10 years ago.

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City authorizes film crew to stage explosion near homes

City authorizes film crew to stage explosion near homes

April 22 saw the filming of the NBC drama "The Blacklist" at the Broadway Stages lot in Glendale. The shoot called for a "controlled explosion" which requires a special permit. The actual explosion was of such magnitude that it rattled nearby homes, with several residents of Doran Avenue complaining about having suffered cracked foundations and walls.

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Things that are Dumb: Council speaker proposes that taxpayers foot bail bills

Things that are Dumb: Council speaker proposes that taxpayers foot bail bills

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has requested that a taxpayer funded bail fund be set up to aid those with bails up to $2,000.

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Things that are Dumb: ATV FOOL Busted in Juniper

Things that are Dumb: ATV FOOL Busted in Juniper

The loser pictured here rode his ATV inside and around Juniper Valley Park on May 6th for more than an hour.

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Things that are dumb: DEC being difficult about  Ridgewood Reservoir designation

Things that are dumb: DEC being difficult about Ridgewood Reservoir designation

We were excited to hear that the Parks Department had dropped its quest to basically destroy the Ridgewood Reservoir and was instead seeking to have the entire site designated as wetlands. However, the Department of Environmental Conservation is now giving this proposal a hard time

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Things that are Dumb: Ice Cream Truck  Up to His Old Tricks

Things that are Dumb: Ice Cream Truck Up to His Old Tricks

Another problem presented over a year ago which still persists is the Mr. Softee ice-cream truck and the poor choices the driver makes when he stops to sell his goods.

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Things that are Dumb: Trucks still stray into neighborhood, DOT Where Are you?

Things that are Dumb: Trucks still stray into neighborhood, DOT Where Are you?

Trucks have been straying off the LIE and wreaking havoc in our neighborhood for years. The JPCA worked with several elected officials and DOT Commissioners to install signage warning truckers to stay on truck routes.

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Things that are Dumb: Who needs parking?

Things that are Dumb: Who needs parking?

The Department of City Planning, in its infinite wisdom, has determined that people in West Maspeth and parts of Middle Village should be solely reliant on public transportation.

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Things that are Dumb: Banning free speech

Things that are Dumb: Banning free speech

Mayor de Blasio's staff is tossing protesters at mayoral appearances into "free speech zones" that are hundreds of feet away from the action. Hello, Mr. Mayor, have you heard of the First Amendment?

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Things that are Dumb: FDNY hires firefighter that failed physical test

Things that are Dumb: FDNY hires firefighter that failed physical test

n an attempt to be politically correct, the FDNY has hired a female candidate that failed the Functional Skills Training test. Rebecca Wax, 33, passed the written tests with flying colors, but was unable to complete the test that showed she could successfully navigate an obstacle course that mimics real-life firefighting challenges, the NY Post reported in May.

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Things that are Dumb: Proof of what has long been suspected

Things that are Dumb: Proof of what has long been suspected

Most of us will agree that one of the major causes of welfare dependence and homelessness is people having children that they can't afford. John C. Goodman of Forbes Magazine tackled this subject in an article entitled, "Why Are The Women Who Can Least Afford Them Having Children?" He points to statistics that show that women living below the poverty level are five times more likely to choose to have children than more financially stable women.

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Things that are Dumb: De Blasio loosens welfare requirements

Things that are Dumb: De Blasio loosens welfare requirements

According to "Poverty and Progress," a report by the Manhattan Institute's Stephen Eide, 90,000 new NYC jobs were created last year, but at the same time, the welfare rolls increased by 4%.

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Things that are Dumb: Hevesi's strange response to homeless question

Things that are Dumb: Hevesi's strange response to homeless question

Immediately after the March 2015 Juniper Berry was published, Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi's chief-of-staff sent a link to JPCA in response to the "Close the Door!" opinion piece. The column called for our local state elected officials to start working on changing the state constitution to close the right-to-shelter loophole that allows people from out of state to come to NY to claim shelter and other benefits.

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Things that are Dumb: Pan Am Hotel overrun with vermin

Things that are Dumb: Pan Am Hotel overrun with vermin

The Pan Am Hotel, which was secretly converted into a homeless shelter last year by Samaritan Village, the same service organization that plans to open the shelter on Cooper Avenue, has had a rodent and roach problem since it opened.

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Things that are Dumb: Even the homeless don't want homeless shelters

Things that are Dumb: Even the homeless don't want homeless shelters

Partnership for the Homeless President and CEO Arnold Cohen had this to say in the Daily News in April: "We don't need to spend years and millions of dollars building better shelters. We need fewer shelters — and far more true housing. I'm sure we'll hear a hue and cry from shelter providers that they've been underfunded. That claim, however, is no excuse for allowing New Yorkers who desperately seek shelter as the last refuge from the street to live in such inhumane circumstances."

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Things that are Dumb: Community boards purged of vocal shelter critics

Things that are Dumb: Community boards purged of vocal shelter critics

Richard Huber, a Glendale representative appointed to Community Board 5 and Jennifer Chu, an Elmhurst representative appointed to Community Board 4, were unceremoniously dumped from their positions by their respective council members, Crowley and Dromm, (with an assist from Borough President Melinda Katz) without explanation.

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Things that are Dumb: Throwing $440M at  the homeless problem doesn't halt new shelters

Things that are Dumb: Throwing $440M at the homeless problem doesn't halt new shelters

Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi announced this past spring that he helped broker a deal that would allocate $440M toward homeless services.

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Things that are Dumb: Pan Am lacks kitchens... disgusting food is served instead

Things that are Dumb: Pan Am lacks kitchens... disgusting food is served instead

The Pan Am hotel suffered a fire in a second floor room early in the morning of May 6th. It was rumored by shelter residents to have been caused by a hot plate left on overnight, but the official cause was reported as a candle in a bathroom.

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Things that are Dumb: Addabbo wants homeless vets at Cooper Avenue shelter

Things that are Dumb: Addabbo wants homeless vets at Cooper Avenue shelter

State Senator Joseph Addabbo stunned civic leaders in March when he announced that he supports lodging homeless veterans at the Cooper Avenue site.

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BERRY BITS: Coyote captured in Middle Village

BERRY BITS: Coyote captured in Middle Village

Early in the morning of April 27, a coyote was spotted by visitors to Juniper Valley Park. The NYPD was notified, but by the time they responded, the animal had run down to the CSX tracks parallel to Lutheran Avenue.

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Living With Coyotes in New York City

Living With Coyotes in New York City

Coyotes are common throughout New York State, including urban areas. Recent sightings confirm that coyotes live in New York City and are active in the Bronx. Seeing a coyote for the first time can be an exhilarating or an alarming experience. If you see a coyote,do not panic. Most coyotes are not dangerous to people.Nationwide, only a handful of coyote bites are reported each year. Recognizing a Coyote

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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Comments or Opinions? Send to: Letters/Juniper Berry PO Box 790275, Middle Village, NY 11379 or e-mail: letters@junipercivic.com

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DID YOU KNOW?

DID YOU KNOW?

A column of interesting statistics and facts about our world.

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What proposed  zoning changes  mean for Maspeth  & Middle Village...

What proposed zoning changes mean for Maspeth & Middle Village...

The Department of City Planning (DCP) has spent the past year working on a citywide zoning proposal which they purport will respond to the lack of affordable and senior housing in New York City. Throughout the document, several terms are used repeatedly: modernize, optimize, enhance, best practices, flexibility and reduction/elimination of obstacles. In planner-speak, all of these words mean to do away with or eviscerate the very things that civic organizations, community boards and other groups have fought for – sometimes for decades – to protect our neighborhoods from out-of-scale and inappropriate development.

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P.S. 128's build-ups and teardowns

P.S. 128's build-ups and teardowns

Many people may recall the "little red schoolhouse" that was replaced by the current P.S. 128 on Juniper Valley Road. But it's likely that few remember the controversial schoolhouse that stood there before that.

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20th century plans   that were not to be

20th century plans that were not to be

The Towns of Newtown, Jamaica, Long Island City and Flushing in Queens County joined the City of New York in 1899. (Oyster Bay, Hempstead, and North Hempstead made up 70% of Queens County until they split off and formed Nassau County, escaping consolidation.)

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Now That's Italian!

Now That's Italian!

After the closure of Pat's in 2006, Maspeth found itself in the unfamiliar position of not having any sit-down Italian restaurants within its boundaries. This felt very strange, considering how many people of Italian descent call the area home. But over the past couple of years, Italian cuisine has made a bit of a comeback, and there are now 2 quality locations at which one can get their pasta fix.

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Forest Park's lost WWI Memorial

Forest Park's lost WWI Memorial

Part II In the last issue of the Juniper Berry, I provided some background about the dedication of a WWI monument consisting of live trees and a bronze plaque within Forest Park. The questions raised by the research: Where exactly were these trees and what happened to them? And secondly, whatever happened to the granite memorial with the bronze plaque? These were mysteries that the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society wanted to solve and our first stop was the local papers.

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Middle Village: My Utopia

Middle Village: My Utopia

As it is second nature to complain about the problems that plague our communities and neighborhoods, it is also easy to overlook all the things that make our town unique, special and down right 'awesome.'

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Captain Mark Wachter, Commander of the 104th Pct.

Captain Mark Wachter, Commander of the 104th Pct.

aptain Mark Wachter is no stranger to the 104th Precinct. He grew up in Glendale. As a young adult, he was an auxiliary officer at the 104th Precinct. His mother still resides in Glendale and his mother-in-law resides in Middle Village. He knows the 104th Precinct's communities very well to say the least!

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New Business Spotlight: DiLusso Deli

New Business Spotlight: DiLusso Deli

We have a new business on Eliot Avenue in Middle Village and it is owned by Neil O'Donnell and Andrea Prestigiacomo. If you love Italian food, and who doesn't, you're going to put this place at the top of your list for fresh, home made Italian cuisine.

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The Finback Brewery: bringing beer-making back

The Finback Brewery: bringing beer-making back

Once upon a time (before Prohibition, 1920-1933) there were over 1,000 breweries in NYC. Now happy days are here again with the growth of microbreweries. There are 20 microbreweries in NYC today and Queens is home to one of the newest, the Finback, located at 78-01 77th Street, Glendale.

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Garrit Furman: Maspeth's poet

Garrit Furman: Maspeth's poet

What was life like in Maspeth in the mid-19th century? As you would imagine, most of Maspeth was farmland. But it also became an enclave of summer mansions for some of Manhattan's wealthy.

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Addiction  and  Deceit  are  Destroying Minorities... and the  Country

Addiction and Deceit are Destroying Minorities... and the Country

If you hired a plumber to fix a leaking pipe in your basement and after a half dozen attempts at stopping the leak the pipe was still dripping water, would you hire that plumber again? Say for some reason you did decide to continue using the plumber's services, how long would you give him before you considered the plumber incompetent and terminated the working arrangement?

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Ladybird, Ladybeetle, Ladybug

Ladybird, Ladybeetle, Ladybug

Bright red-orange ladybug beetles are a welcome sight in these warmer months, especially after the long, cold dreary winter we experienced this past year.

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KAMPERMANN'S KORNER: Corruption is the Cancer of Democracy

KAMPERMANN'S KORNER: Corruption is the Cancer of Democracy

In the same fashion that cancer metastasizes in the human body and manifests itself in other parts than its point of origin, political corruption spreads throughout the executive and legislative branches across the nation and robs the Body Politic of honest government. Almost on a daily basis, for those of us who follow politics like others follow sports, there is a news story regarding political corruption in some jurisdiction somewhere. I closed my March/April Juniper Berry op-ed with a question: Will trickle down justice hit Queens County before the spring edition of the Juniper Berry? Well, we all know that the wheels of justice grind slowly. However, there is progress; it has struck in Nassau County.

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FDNY HOLDS FIRST EVER CITYWIDE OPEN HOUSE TO CELEBRATE 150th ANNIVERSARY

FDNY HOLDS FIRST EVER CITYWIDE OPEN HOUSE TO CELEBRATE 150th ANNIVERSARY

On Saturday, May 2nd, the FDNY celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Department with its first-ever citywide open house program.More than 200 Firehouses and EMS Stations opened their doors to the public from11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro attended Open House events at Engine Company 287/Ladder 136 in Elmhurst.

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Tony Vaccaro not slowing down

Tony Vaccaro was a combat infantryman in the 83rd Infantry of the U.S. Army during WWll and had his camera with him when his unit stormed the beaches in Normandy on D-Day and beyond. His photos of the war take us through France, Belgium and Germany and capture the realities of war with all its violence, destruction and death. But they also captured the joy of liberation and candid photos of his fellow soldiers when they were relaxing between battles.

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Killy's Korner

Send info and photos to: KillysKorner@aol.com or write: Juniper Berry PO Box 790275 Middle Village, NY 11379 deadline for next issue: August 15, 2015

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BERRY HEALTH: ASTHMA AND ALLERGY AT THE MOVIES

Dr. Gontzes is board certified in Allergy & Immunology and has 32 years of experience. He is a resident of Middle Village and a member of the Juniper Park Civic Association. Peter Gontzes MD 9231 57th Ave Elmhurst, NY 11373 (718) 592-1731

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Neighborhood Hall of Shame COMMUNITY 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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