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

September 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: Missing Caldwell Avenue signs finally replaced

BERRY BITS: Missing Caldwell Avenue signs finally replaced

For over a year "No Standing Anytime" signs along the south side of Caldwell Avenue between 72nd Street and 71st Street were missing and cars were parking along the strip making for a tight squeeze for larger vehicles such as fire engines, school buses and ambulances

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BERRY BITS: Pervert targeting girls along  Grand Avenue

BERRY BITS: Pervert targeting girls along Grand Avenue

Police are looking for a man who they said flashed two young girls in Elmhurst.

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BERRY BITS: Juniper Juniors participate in graffiti and garbage cleanup

BERRY BITS: Juniper Juniors participate in graffiti and garbage cleanup

The Juniper Juniors, NYPD Community Affairs and 104th Precinct's Graffiti Officers teamed up on July 25th to clean up the area under the railroad bridge on Calamus Avenue.

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BERRY BITS: Coalition challenge halts building permits for shelter

BERRY BITS: Coalition challenge halts building permits for shelter

The Glendale/Middle Village Coalition, formed to halt the Cooper Ave homeless shelter, received some good news in late July.

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BERRY BITS: "Missing" Assembly Member to have Democrat challenger

BERRY BITS: "Missing" Assembly Member to have Democrat challenger

Brian Barnwell, a 29-year old Woodside attorney, who currently works as Director of Event Planning for City Council Member Costa Constantinidis (D-Astoria), announced in late July that in 2016, he will run in the Democratic primary against incumbent Marge Markey, who has held the post since 1999.

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BERRY BITS: Day of Service held at Elmhurst Park, dedicated in memory of Jennifer Kao.

BERRY BITS: Day of Service held at Elmhurst Park, dedicated in memory of Jennifer Kao.

Community members joined Parks Department reps June 11th to weed, plant and mulch at Elmhurst Park as part of an officially declared "Day of Service."

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BERRY BITS: Drug dealers busted

BERRY BITS: Drug dealers busted

Captain Mark Wachter, Commander of the 104th Precinct, announced June 11th that a large quantity of drugs was taken off the streets of Maspeth in a sweep by the NYPD Narcotics Division. Then on July 20th, seven more arrests were made by the Narcotics Division for possession of cocaine. All of the persons that were arrested were Maspeth residents

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BERRY BITS: Precinct & MV residents nab 4 teens stealing items from cars

BERRY BITS: Precinct & MV residents nab 4 teens stealing items from cars

On Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at approximately 11:20 pm in front of 60-47 77 Street Middle Village four (4) youths ages 15-17 (all from East New York) were observed removing property from inside a vehicle on 76th St. near Caldwell Ave.

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BERRY BITS: Bank robber sought

BERRY BITS: Bank robber sought

Detectives are looking for a woman who robbed the Astoria Bank located at 75-25 Metropolitan Avenue the morning of Friday, August 7th.

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BERRY BITS: Eyesore no more?

BERRY BITS: Eyesore no more?

An application was submitted to the Department of Buildings for a new structure at 58-40 Brown Place, which formerly was the site of a furniture outlet and before that an Amoco gas station. The site has long been an eyesore, with tall weeds, graffiti and large trucks parked on the property making frequent appearances.

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BERRY BITS: Enforcement of bus only lanes to begin later this month

BERRY BITS: Enforcement of bus only lanes to begin later this month

Concerning the Woodhaven Boulevard Select Bus Service (SBS) Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, DOT has instituted an educational period (no enforcement) through Sept 17th, for motorists returning from summer vacations to get acquainted with the bus lane rules. After Sept 17th the enforcement period will begin. From that point forward, the Woodhaven Blvd bus lanes will be in effect from 7 AM to 10 AM, and 4 PM to 7 PM, Monday through Friday. During these days/times, driving, parking or standing (i.e. making deliveries in the bus lane) is prohibited, and will result in a $115 to $150 fine.

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BERRY BITS: The importance of teamwork in fighting drugs

BERRY BITS: The importance of teamwork in fighting drugs

I would like to take the opportunity to reintroduce myself to all in the community. I am Deputy Inspector Michael Cody and I have been recently assigned as Commanding Officer of Queens North Narcotics.

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The development of Middle Village in the 1930s

The development of Middle Village in the 1930s

In 1934, only 4 in 10 Americans were homeowners. When Congress created the Federal Housing Administration to provide mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders, it opened up a world of opportunity for those wishing to buy a home and led to a building boom.

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BERRY BITS: Enough is Enough! Precinct Blitzes American Collision

BERRY BITS: Enough is Enough! Precinct Blitzes American Collision

This year, American Auto Body (aka American Collision) felt the full wrath of the NYPD and community. Since 2007, they have been parking junked automobiles all over the streets and sidewalks on and near Flushing Avenue in Maspeth. Complaints from the community stacked up against American over the years.

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BERRY BITS: The New Caldwell Avenue Park

BERRY BITS: The New Caldwell Avenue Park

Helen DiStefano lives in Middle Village near the CSX railroad tracks. Three years ago, with her husband Louis, they moved from Rockaway to the their 1st floor apartment on Caldwell Avenue. The railroad lot next to their side door was filled with 5-foot weeds.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Elizabeth Crowley supports release of convicted terrorist

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Elizabeth Crowley supports release of convicted terrorist

In June, the City Council, at the behest of Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, passed a resolution calling on the Obama administration to release Oscar Lopez-Rivera, a terrorist serving a 55-year federal prison sentence for conspiring to transport explosives with intent to destroy government property and other crimes.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Only certain people can  burn an American flag

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Only certain people can burn an American flag

Just before Independence Day, a crowd took to Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn to express their frustrations by burning both Confederate and American flags.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Never-beginning bridge project still hasn't begun

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Never-beginning bridge project still hasn't begun

In the March 2014 edition of the Juniper Berry, it was reported that the Dept of Transportation was revising plans for the replacement of the bridge over the LIRR tracks at Metropolitan Avenue and Fresh Pond Road and that was expected to take about a year.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Kids to play  soccer next to  a Superfund site

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Kids to play soccer next to a Superfund site

A Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) aeration facility is planned along the shore of Newtown Creek on 47th Street in Maspeth. Originally, the property was to also allow for public open space, but the DEP later decided against it.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Queens BP Funds Manhattan Park while ignoring Maspeth and Middle Village Parks

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Queens BP Funds Manhattan Park while ignoring Maspeth and Middle Village Parks

In mid-August, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz issued a press release that contained a detailed list of park projects toward which she allocated funding in the 2016 budget.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: 76th St. Car Dealership

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: 76th St. Car Dealership

This 76th Street homeowner thought he could turn his driveway into his own car dealership. Wrong! He was issued a zoning violation for parking 3 cars without license plates on his property.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB:Speeding train crashes into truck on Maspeth Avenue

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB:Speeding train crashes into truck on Maspeth Avenue

Just before 1 a.m. on July 8th, a New York & Atlantic Railway train crashed into a truck crossing Maspeth Avenue at Rust Street. Dashcam footage taken by a vehicle approaching from the opposite way revealed that not only did the signal not start to flash until just before the moment of impact, but also that the train was obviously speeding.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Dumb FIOS 2

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Dumb FIOS 2

Just when we thought that Verizon's overly aggressive marketing campaign for their Fios propaganda was over, they again set up their illegal tent on Eliot Avenue in a pedestrian crosswalk.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Crowley pushing for light rail along Lower Montauk Line

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Crowley pushing for light rail along Lower Montauk Line

Council Member Elizabeth Crowley is often coming up with what seem like bright ideas, but then never following through to make them happen. Take, for instance, her stand on burying power lines. She had a press conference with Anthony Weiner years ago, and that was as far as it went. Now she is advocating for light rail to connect Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village with LIC and Jamaica.

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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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Help children with cancer in Anastasia's memory

Help children with cancer in Anastasia's memory

On November 28, 2013, our dream of starting a family was realized when we were blessed with the birth of our beautiful daughter, Anastasia. Then after several weeks of her not feeling well, and just 2 days before her first birthday, Anastasia was diagnosed with Stage 4 High-Risk Neuroblastoma, the most common cancer in infancy and the most common extracranial solid cancer in childhood.

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Mariendale Park: Maspeth's Den of Iniquity

Mariendale Park: Maspeth's Den of Iniquity

There were many picnic parks in our area at the turn of the 20th century, but the most infamous of them was Mariendale Park. The park was located in Maspeth on 72nd Street and stretched between 52nd and Grand Avenues. Newspapers of the time are full of stories of assaults, drunken behavior and even murder.

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Defending our public parkland

Defending our public parkland

In February of 2014, I filed a lawsuit along with the City Club of New York, Queens Civic Congress, members of Willets Point United Inc., NYC Park Advocates, and nearby residents/business owners, challenging the "Willets West" mega-mall proposal. The proposal would have resulted in the giveaway of 47 acres of Queens parkland, worth an estimated $ 1 billion, to build a 1 million sq ft retail and entertainment complex adjacent to CitiField.

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Community Advocacy is not NIMBY ‒ it's  necessary!

Community Advocacy is not NIMBY ‒ it's necessary!

Every time there is widespread community opposition to a bad government project, the defensive cry from the City and its faithful stooges is to label local residents as "NIMBY." NIMBY stands for "not in my backyard" and it was originally used to describe residents that opposed projects considered to be beneficial or necessary to society as a whole but would negatively impact those living in close proximity to wherever the projects were ‒ things like power plants and garbage dumps. But today, the label "NIMBY" is applied in a knee-jerk manner to try to marginalize anyone that has the audacity to point out when a government sanctioned action is questionable in some way.

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DeBlasio vs. Uber: Mayor Learns Lesson in Picking Battles

DeBlasio vs. Uber: Mayor Learns Lesson in Picking Battles

The war between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the car service, Uber, came to a head in July. The mayor had asked the City Council to curb the growth and influence of Uber and made all sorts of accusations about how their fleet of cars was causing increased traffic in Manhattan below 59th Street. Of course, during this tiff, the mayor failed to disclose that he had been the recipient of a lot of campaign money from taxi medallion owners who compete with Uber.

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RR Safety: Report to the Community

RR Safety: Report to the Community

Many of you in our communities have come to know CURES for its all-volunteer work to address the problems posed by increased rail freight use and the practices and policies of the New York & Atlantic Railway. Our problems are not really all that new and they certainly aren't unique to our area. Rail freight safety has come under scrutiny all across North America, in large part due to the shipment of Bakken crude oil in massive quantities.

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Middle Village Residents Take Long View

Middle Village Residents Take Long View

Infused with a suburban spirit but with the comforts of city living, Middle Village, Queens, doesn't have much of a revolving door. Residents stick around for a long time.

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Profile: 104th Pct. Community Affairs Officer Charlie Sadler

Profile: 104th Pct. Community Affairs Officer Charlie Sadler

Born July 13, 1977, Charles Edward Sadler grew up in South Hempstead, Long Island. Charlie's parents, Charles Edward and Beatrice, were model parents. His father was the superintendent for the local utility company and his mom a homemaker. His upbringing provided a solid foundation for success.

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deBlasio's Doomed Housing Plan

deBlasio's Doomed Housing Plan

By embracing inclusionary zoning, Mayor de Blasio gets to put forth a big, bold plan for reducing inequalities without challenging capitalists.

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AMAZING STORIES:Rebuked From Altar • Police and Some Polish People Scored by Newtown Priest

AMAZING STORIES:Rebuked From Altar • Police and Some Polish People Scored by Newtown Priest

St. Adalbert's Father Cwiklinski Demands Purification of a Section of Maspeth ‒ His People Pledge Support

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AMAZING STORIES: Queens Couple Found Dead

AMAZING STORIES: Queens Couple Found Dead

A Queens couple, John and Anna Konig, 63 and 61 years old, of 70-07 Juniper Valley Road, Middle Village, were found dead by their son, John, Jr., in their living room yesterday afternoon, apparent victims of carbon monoxide poisoning.

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AMAZING STORIES: Queens Florist Is Fatally Shot in Robbery

A 62-year-old florist in Middle Village, Queens, was fatally wounded during a robbery yesterday, but the two gunmen were chased down and captured by off-duty police officers, the police said. The victim was shot twice in front of St. John's Flower Shop at 66-52 80th Street about 5 P.M. and died later at Jamaica Hospital. Sgt. John McCluskey, a police spokesman, said Mr. DeSantis and his wife had just left their shop with the day's receipts when they were approached by two men who demanded the money. Following a struggle and the shooting, the gunmen fled in a car.

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AMAZING STORIES: Doctor's Wife Slain

AMAZING STORIES: Doctor's Wife Slain

300 At Rites for Doctor's Slain Wife in St. Margaret's Church

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When the biggest brewery in the country was planned for MIDDLE VILLAGE

When the biggest brewery in the country was planned for MIDDLE VILLAGE

Peruse the local newspapers from the 1930s for articles about our area, and you may notice something very interesting. At one time, the largest beer garden in the United States had been planned for Middle Village!

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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.

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First Visit to Maspeth

First Visit to Maspeth

During the early part of my apprenticeship, when I must have been about fifteen or sixteen years of age, my boss was preparing his team and wagon to visit a store about two or three miles from home, in order to procure groceries and family supplies, and as I had not much to do at the time, very kindly invited me to accompany him, and I very gladly accepted the invitation.

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New Business Spotlight: Piecasso

New Business Spotlight: Piecasso

Piecasso Fast Fired Pizza is a new concept for enjoying America's favorite fast food and nothing like the old fashioned pizza parlor with its red and white checkered table cloth that your grandmother remembers. This 21st century "pizza plus" version is the product of the collective minds of Vito Pipitone and Phillie Gallina, rather a spark of genius.

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KAMPERMANN'S KORNER:The blue light express

KAMPERMANN'S KORNER:The blue light express

The NYC Department of Transportation has plans for a dedicated bus lane along the Woodhaven/Cross Bay Boulevard thoroughfare; and, yes, a modified Manhattan style transportation concept eliminating curbside parking along certain section of the route could decrease travel time for local buses and safely provide additional parking for the communities of Woodhaven and Ozone Park.

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OP-ED: Gay marriage: How did a state issue become a federal case?

OP-ED: Gay marriage: How did a state issue become a federal case?

This past June, in a landmark 5 to 4 decision, the Supreme Court decided that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry; a decision that was sharply denounced by the dissenting justices and praised by President Obama and other liberal democrats. And as the liberal propaganda national network – AKA the mainstream media – flooded its newspaper pages and airwaves with cheers of a progressive victory, America put a little more distance between herself and the United States Constitution.

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Fun at the Maspeth Car Show

Fun at the Maspeth Car Show

Ballgames, barbecues and car shows are reminiscent of days gone by and the Maspeth of the 1960's and 70's. Sunday June 7, 2015 was trip down memory lane as it was the date of the Toys for Tots Car Show as hosted by Maspeth Federal Savings and Loan at 69th Street. The show was sponsored by East Coast Car Association and the Ridgewood Masonic Lodge. Masons from Ridgewood, Cornucopia, Reliance Lodges and the 2nd Kings District were in attendance, judged the field and presented awards. Period correct music was provided by Joe & Jeanette Fuoco and the sounds were by the motors. Turnout was good, the weather cooperated and the major car brands of the period were represented with a host of nice cars, trucks and motorcycles as displayed.

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Local Sushi!

Local Sushi!

Sushi first reached New York in the 1980s and has only grown in popularity since. You no longer have to travel to get it, however, as there are now 4 Japanese restaurants right here. I've eaten at every one of them and all of them serve great quality food. (Note that beer, wine and saki are available at these locations except, ironically, the one called...

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Business Spotlight: The Learning Tree Teaches Life's Lessons

Business Spotlight: The Learning Tree Teaches Life's Lessons

Teenagers and adults often look back at their memories of summer camp as some of the fondest of their childhood, and why not? What teenager or adult wouldn't love to spend eight weeks every year playing basketball, softball, kickball, swimming, having free play in the park, going on trips, and spending time with friends and counselors who care for them? And what child doesn't look forward to two months free from the pressures of the common core and standardized testing while getting several hours everyday to socialize, exercise and strengthen important social and emotional skills that serve us so well as adults later in life?

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Killy's Korner

Killy's Korner

Send info and photos to: KillysKorner@aol.com or write: Juniper Berry PO Box 790275 Middle Village, NY 11379 Next deadline for news is November 10, 2015

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BERRY HEALTH: A New Food Allergy

BERRY HEALTH: A New Food Allergy

Dr. Gontzes is board certified in Allergy & Immunology and has 33 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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Community Hall of Shame

Community Hall of Shame

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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My family's long fire service history

My family's long fire service history

The Newtown Volunteer Fire Department came into existence in September 1843 and my great-great-great grandfather, Johannes Schafer, joined the Winfield Company shortly afterward, thus beginning a long family relationship with fire fighting in Queens and the City of New York.

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