March 2016 Juniper Berry Magazine - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.
March Juniper Berry Magazine

March 2016 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: Driving off into the sunset

BERRY BITS: Driving off into the sunset

AMEF Auto, located at 74-02 Grand Avenue, abruptly closed its doors at the end of the year.

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BERRY BITS: Massage parlor bills introduced

BERRY BITS: Massage parlor bills introduced

Inspired by the successful efforts of Capt. Mark Wachter and the 104th Pct, Assembly Member Mike Miller and Sen. Joe Addabbohave introduced a package of bills that will help close down and prevent additional illegal massage parlors.

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BERRY BITS: Proposal to combat graffiti

BERRY BITS: Proposal to combat graffiti

JPCA needs your help to cover up the graffiti that springs up all over Maspeth and Middle Village.

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BERRY BITS: Community Alert – Thefts from Autos

BERRY BITS: Community Alert – Thefts from Autos

There have been quite a few thefts from vehicles in the area. Most have occurred in different parts of Ridgewood, but a few have occurred in Maspeth. There have been at least 25 thefts from autos this year as of February 3rd. Some of the vehicles had their windows broken, while some victims may have left their vehicle doors unlocked.

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BERRY BITS: Petition for cleaner engines

BERRY BITS: Petition for cleaner engines

Exposure to a high amount of diesel engine emissions is linked to many diseases, such as asthma and lung cancer. EPA certified Tier 4 locomotives give off far fewer toxic emissions and make less noise than the current antiquated locomotives that operate in our communities today. To help our communities, Governor Cuomo and New York State Legislators allocated $9,000,000 to the LIRR between 2012 and 2015 for the purchase of Tier 4 locomotives.

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BERRY BITS: Middle Village Movie  DVD signing

BERRY BITS: Middle Village Movie DVD signing

Filmmaker and St. Margaret͛s own, David Madison will be signing DVD copies of his new hit film, Middle Village, after all masses on Saturday and Sunday March12th and 13th.

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BERRY BITS: A possible end to early park bathroom closures

BERRY BITS: A possible end to early park bathroom closures

Juniper Valley Park technically closes at dusk, which in winter is around 4:00 PM. However, in January, it was noticed that the comfort stations were closing at 3.30 PM. Many kids are in the park at 3:30, as this is afterschool time, and many seniors are also using the park at this hour.

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Remembering Justice Antonin Scalia son of Elmhurst

Remembering Justice Antonin Scalia son of Elmhurst

Supreme Court Justice Antonin "Nino" Scalia was the 103rd Supreme Court Justice to serve and the first of Italian-American descent to be appointed and serve on the Supreme Court. He was a favorite son of our borough and the Italian-American community. He was born in Trenton, New Jersey to an immigrant Sicilian father and first generation Italian-American mother and raised in a modest house at 48-22 O'Connell Court in Elmhurst.

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Happy 200th Birthday Middle Village!

Happy 200th Birthday Middle Village!

The neighborhood we know today as Middle Village would likely not exist had it not been for the towns of Williamsburgh in Kings County and Jamaica in Queens County in the early 19th century. Jamaica was a well-settled farming town and Williamsburgh was where the ferry to Manhattan was located. Long Island and Jamaican farmers hauled their goods via horse and wagon to the Brooklyn ferry dock, where they would cross the river to travel to Manhattan markets. Meanwhile, "public transportation" to Manhattan at the time consisted of stagecoaches to the ferry. The streets were dirt roads, and not easily navigable.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: City Council wants mall on parkland

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: City Council wants mall on parkland

The NYC Council never ceases to amaze. In December, they passed a resolution, almost unanimously, that authorized their lawyers to submit an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief supporting the appellants in the Flushing Meadows parkland alienation case which, if won, would allow Sterling Equities and Related Companies to construct a gigantic shopping mall next to Citifield.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Things that are... Crowley

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Things that are... Crowley

In December 2014, Council Member Elizabeth Crowley made a promotional video for her district which included the following statement: "At Forest Park you can take a ride on the Muller Carousel, you can play golf at the famous golf course, you can even visit the Ridgewood Reservoir."

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Stop signs for freight trains

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Stop signs for freight trains

You may recall that last year a speeding freight train hit a truck crossing the tracks at Maspeth Avenue after the warning signals malfunctioned. In response, this past December, the railroad decided to post "stop signs" in the Maspeth Railyard.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: No Parking... No Press

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: No Parking... No Press

Along the Queens Midtown Expressway (westbound) at 69th Street, there is a metered parking area that was carved out by DOT which was supposed to provide more parking for patrons of Grand Avenue businesses. However, 2 of these spots are reserved for drivers bearing official "NYP" (press) plates. This was done to accommodate reporters and staff of the Queens Ledger many years ago.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Council Members vote themselves  a big, fat pay increase

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Council Members vote themselves a big, fat pay increase

The New York City Council voted themselves a 32% pay raise on February 5th. This will boost their current $112,500 salary to $148,500.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road

Stockholm Street between Woodward and Onderdonk Avenues in Ridgewood is a beautiful block. Back in the 1980s, the DOT wanted to replace the yellow brick pavers that line the road with asphalt. Residents fought to keep them and the people prevailed. In 2000, Councilmember Tom Ognibene supported landmarking of the block as an historic district. Again, the people prevailed. However, lately, things are not so sunny on Stockholm Street.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: PlowNYC not all it's cracked up to be

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: PlowNYC not all it's cracked up to be

The following comes from Council Member Rory Lancman: "In a truly cruel technological twist, the City's online, real-time snowplow tracker, PlowNYC, showed many streets as having been recently plowed when clearly they hadn't been. Really, what inspires greater confidence in your government than standing atop a snow mound in the middle of an unplowed street and looking at an app telling you that the street was plowed a few hours ago?

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Elmhurst Hospital decontamination unit now  hosting homeless

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Elmhurst Hospital decontamination unit now hosting homeless

There is a trailer at Elmhurst Hospital that is meant to serve as an emergency decontamination unit, but the NY Post reported in late January that the city is housing homeless within it.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: 18th century historic church used as construction staging area

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: 18th century historic church used as construction staging area

The Old St. James Episcopal Church (now parish hall), located at 86-02 Broadway in Elmhurst, is currently in use as a construction staging area for workers building the new Elmhurst Library across the street.

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 DHS and Mayor de Blasio enriching landlords and hotel operators

DHS and Mayor de Blasio enriching landlords and hotel operators

Since taking office more than two years ago, Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) have converted at least nine hotels into homeless shelters,most of them in Queens and Brooklyn. There may be more as these conversions are usually made in a stealthy manner and some communitiesare not aware of the change over until months later as the residents of Jamaica Hills have recently experienced. Although a few of these conversions were legal, the majority were convertedillegally with no notification to the community or elected officials until the 11th hour when it was already a "done deal."b

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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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The historical importance of the Old St. James Episcopal Church, Newtown

The historical importance of the Old St. James Episcopal Church, Newtown

In the summer of 2015, Newtown Historical Society sought help from State Senator Tony Avella in obtaining official NYC landmark designation for the Old St. James Church /Parish Hall, located at 86-02 Broadway in Elmhurst. The building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places for some time, but has never been officially designated a landmark by the city, which would legally protect it from demolition. Senator Avella wrote to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, asking for an evaluation of the property, and received the following reply:

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104th Pct Report

104th Pct Report

The following actions were taken by the 104th Pct in Maspeth & Middle Village since the last edition of the Juniper Berry:

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Understanding the New Pedestrian Right Of Way Law

Understanding the New Pedestrian Right Of Way Law

In July of last year, the Police Department began enforcement of the new Pedestrian Right Of Way Law which was passed by the City Council. This law, which is carried under Administrative Code 19-190 (b), now makes it a civil offense for a Motorist to strike a pedestrian or cyclist who is proceeding with the Right of Way (i.e. Crossing with signal in the marked crosswalk, riding a bike in traffic and obeying all traffic regulations) and cause that pedestrian/cyclist to sustain a physical injury. The Police Department is currently enforcing these offenses.

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Interview with Captain Gregory Mackie

Interview with Captain Gregory Mackie

Stats: Born: 1977 NYU Hospital, Manhattan. Schooling: PS 124, Chinatown Father: John, Retired NYPD ‒ SGT 1984 Mother: Jeanette, Court Reporter NYC Siblings: Two Older Brothers Married: Since 2009 Joined the NYPD: 2000

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The Forgotten Villages

The Forgotten Villages

The city was told it would be bad, and it was ‒ especially for Maspeth and Middle Village. The Blizzard of 2016 given the name Jonas came roaring up the East Coast and into New York City living up to and in many cases surpassing the pre-storm hype. It was the second-biggest snowstorm in New York City history, with 26.8 inches – just 1/10 of an inch shy of the previous record set in February of 2006 of 26.9 inches – and it was the single biggest snowstorm on record for at least six locations in the East.

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The Mystery of Miss Emma

The Mystery of Miss Emma

Many of us who grew up in Middle Village and are of a certain age remember when it was a staid restrained little town with lots of vacant land and some very large one-family homes. These houses rested on plots of property that today hold several attached dwellings erected in the late 1950s through the 1960s. One by one, the great edifices were felled by the wrecking ball of developers whose avarice wouldn't be quenched.

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Hillary and  the  rest  of  U.S.

Hillary and the rest of U.S.

Does it really matter who wins the Presidency in 2016 or is it as some people claim merely window dressing in order to placate the people by those possessing the real power; puppet masters created out of an alliance between corporations and big government?

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What happened to Wayland Avenue?

What happened to Wayland Avenue?

Things were done differently in Queens County in the early part of the 20th century. If one paid enough money to the right person, they could get away with just about anything. This may have been the case with Wayland Avenue (alternately called Way Avenue), a road that had reportedly been in use for more than 100 years when it was unceremoniously "bought" and closed by Lutheran Cemetery around 1904.

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The history of Glendale's Schuetzen Park

The history of Glendale's Schuetzen Park

The Schuetzen Park and Hotel, located on Myrtle Avenue near 88th Place in eastern Glendale, were opened in 1892 by Charles Deckelman. He improved it at a cost of $80,000 and operated it himself for two years. Beginning in 1894, Deckelman leased the property to Bernard Koenig, who had run other successful parks and beer gardens.

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10 Scams Targeting Senior  Citizens

10 Scams Targeting Senior Citizens

From the 104th Pct. Captain Mark T. Wachter Commanding Officer

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OP-ED: Keep Central Park Carriage Horses on the Good Path

OP-ED: Keep Central Park Carriage Horses on the Good Path

Few joys can bring a smile to a child's face faster than a horse. Perhaps that explains why as adults, dreamlike, the horse glides through our psyche, of elegance and wind, a symbol of companionship, beauty and speed, power and strength. Many of us experience a "spirit of freedom" through moments shared while astride one of these magnificent animals.

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Q&A with familiar faces: Interview with Leslie Barnes, owner of London Lennies

Q&A with familiar faces: Interview with Leslie Barnes, owner of London Lennies

In 1959, Dwight D. Eisenhower was President, Alaska and Hawaii were granted statehood, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series, and Leonard Barnes and his wife Joan founded what would become "one of New York City's premiere seafood restaurants" ‒ London Lennie's.

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Allstate Agent Kevin Spann Opens New Office in Middle Village

Allstate Agent Kevin Spann Opens New Office in Middle Village

Allstate Insurance Company is proud to announce the opening of a new office in Middle Village, located at 64-77 Dry Harbor Road, which is independently owned and operated by Kevin Spann, an agent with over twenty-five years of experience with Allstate. Kevin has been proudly serving the Middle Village community since 2007.

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Dedication, Beauty, Empowerment: Starting on the Road to Achieving Everything You Want

Dedication, Beauty, Empowerment: Starting on the Road to Achieving Everything You Want

Cathy Lume is a life-long resident of Middle Village, who attended Our Lady of Hope School, graduated from Christ the King Regional High School and currently attends Queens College, where she is majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics. Cathy works at Vigorous Fitness Clubs in Middle Village, as a Membership Advisor. What follows is Cathy's journey in her quest to compete in a body-building competition, and what she has learned along the road about fitness, health, and herself.

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Killy's Korner

Killy's Korner

Well hello everyone. Hope all is well after the Blizzard of 2016 and the long winter. I know I mentioned in the past how much I love the snow and the winter weather and I still do, but this one proved a winner and many were greatly inconvenienced with snow and garbage removal. We shall move on to spring and enjoy the changing seasons. Send info and photos to: KillysKorner@aol.com or write: Juniper Berry PO Box 790275 Middle Village, NY 11379 deadline for next issue: May 15, 2016

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A NEW ERA IN MEDICINE

A NEW ERA IN MEDICINE

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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