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

June 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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Yesterday & Today: LUTHERAN  CEMETERY

Yesterday & Today: LUTHERAN CEMETERY

This is perhaps the most important cemetery in the vicinity of New York; the interments here in 1879 were nearly twice as many as at Greenwood, and in 1880 more than in all the other Protestant cemeteries in Newtown.

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Berry Bits: Abbracciamento's for sale once more

Berry Bits: Abbracciamento's for sale once more

The most recent owners of the former Abbracciamento's Restaurant on Woodhaven Blvd have listed the site as for sale once again.

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Berry Bits: Development plans revealed for former AMEF property

Berry Bits: Development plans revealed for former AMEF property

The building at the corner of 74th Street and Grand Avenue, the former AMEF auto body shop, has been demolished and a 54-foot-tall building may be constructed on the lot.

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Berry Bits: Work on Grand Avenue Truck Bypass continues

The DOT continues to tweak the Grand Avenue Truck Bypass project and has come up with short-term, mid-term and long-term solutions to the problem of trucks continuing to use Grand and Flushing Avenues.

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Berry bits: New sewers coming to Middle Village

A $22 million project requested 10 years ago that is meant to reduce flooding in Middle Village is finally underway.

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Berry Bits: New liquor license policy

The NYS Liquor Authority (SLA) requires that applicants for on premise licenses (OP) complete their "Standardized Notice Form Providing a 30-Day Notice to a Local Municipality of Community Board" which asks for basic information.

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Berry Bits: Old Time Base Ball comes to Midville this summer

A unique historical sporting event will take place this August at Juniper Valley Park. Come watch the Gotham Base Ball Club of New York take on the Brooklyn Eckfords on Saturday, August 27th, 2016 at Juniper Valley Park Cardinal Field (#7).

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Berry Bits:DOB Deck and Retaining Wall Inspection Program now in effect

The Department of Buildings' annual No-Penalty Deck and Retaining Wall Inspection Program is a citywide initiative running between May 15 to June 25, which allows New Yorkers to request a free inspection of their decks, porches, and retaining walls.

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Berry Bits: Nature and History Tours scheduled for May 28 & June 12

Join naturalist Rob Jett and Christina Wilkinson of the Newtown Historical Society on a walk through All Faiths Cemetery.

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Berry Bits: Slocum Day ceremony at All Faiths

This year marks the 112th anniversary of the sinking of the General Slocum. The ship caught fire and sank in the East River on June 15, 1904, killing more than 1,000 passengers.

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Berry Bits: NY&A Railway now forced to buy cleanest engines

On May 17, the leaders of Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions (CURES) had a conference call with Governor Cuomo's office and the MTA who gave them the good news that LIRR will be putting out a Request for Proposals for Tier 4 locomotives instead of purchasing two of the more polluting Tier 3 PR20Bs, as was the original plan.

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Berry Bits: Kudos to our anti-graffiti volunteers

As mentioned in the last edition of the Juniper Berry, we are providing paint to those volunteers interested in adopting mailboxes or fireboxes near their homes.

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Berry Bits: Damaged Maspeth Greenstreet will get some TLC

Something went very wrong at the intersection of Eliot Ave & 60 Lane in Maspeth. A vehicle of some kind obviously mounted the sidewalk there and caused major damage to the lovely Greenstreet planted there.

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Berry Bits: St. Adalbert's 125 in 2017

St. Adalbert Parish is set to celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2017, and they need your help to tell the story of its history.

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The Hotels of Middle Village Past

The Hotels of Middle Village Past

As we can see from the Johnson Land Map of 1873 (on page 10), a number of tombstone yards and hotels had opened for business near the main gate to "Old Lutheran Cemetery" on the south side of Metropolitan Avenue. When the Bushwick Railroad opened their steam locomotive passenger service to Middle Village and established their terminal, it stimulated the building of additional hotels. In the immediate vicinity of the terminal were Frederick Grafelmann's Empire Hotel, Michael Wendel's Hotel, Metzger's Hotel and Martin Mager's Hotel. A short distance away on and near Mount Olivet Avenue (Mount Olivet Crescent) were additional hotels: Mount Olivet Hotel, William Repper's saloon, Wannemacher's Saloon, etc. Thirsty travelers did not have to go far for a drink.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Crowley supports closing Rikers Island

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Crowley supports closing Rikers Island

Rikers Island currently has some serious management issues, but its location is ideal. You really don't want jailbirds housed in residential areas, so an island is perfect. Yet ultraliberal City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is leading the charge to close it down, an idea the mayor already rejected as too expensive.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Abandoned Ghost Bikes an eyesore

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Abandoned Ghost Bikes an eyesore

Ghost Bikes are basically city sanctioned roadside shrines dedicated to people who were killed riding bicycles on city streets. They are meant to call attention to traffic safety as well as serve as a memorial. The Ghost Bike organization and its volunteers are generally responsible for maintaining them.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Parks Department giving Vietnam Vets a hard time

The long awaited Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Elmhurst Park is closing in on its fundraising goal. The Queens Chronicle reported on March 10 that "the group [Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 32] hopes to raise enough money through fundraising, scheduled to be completed by June 30."

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: CVS parking lot is a disaster

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: CVS parking lot is a disaster

The CVS drug store at Metropolitan Ave and Fresh Pond Road frequently has eyesores in its parking area. Installed at the entrance is a height bar prohibiting trucks that are too tall. However, it seems that trucks are making their way into the lot and taking the bar down.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Woodhaven Blvd underpass used as truck rest stop

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Woodhaven Blvd underpass used as truck rest stop

f you've ever found yourself in the unfortunate position of needing to drive through the turnaround under Woodhaven Blvd, you surely have seen something reportable. A lot of unsavory behavior happens at this location: dumping, graffiti, homeless encampments, etc. ‒ you name it, it probably can be found there.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Participatory budgeting ‒ the joke's on us

With much fanfare, Elizabeth Crowley announced that she would allow participatory budgeting in her district for the first time this year.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Berries still arriving with only covers

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Berries still arriving with only covers

Many complaints have been received with regard to the Juniper Berry either arriving in people's mailboxes with its cover torn, pages separated or missing the inside pages.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: City Council passes bag tax

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: City Council passes bag tax

The NYC Council always seems to be focusing on the wrong issues. In May, it passed a 5-cent per bag tax on plastic and paper bags at grocery stores.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Timber!

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Timber!

We've been getting several complaints about tree pruners working the area and not offering any protection to pedestrians or homeowners. These photos were taken on two consecutive April mornings on 74th Street near Caldwell Avenue. The limbs were falling in people's yards and across the sidewalks, causing danger to the public and private property damage.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Selfish sidewalk parkers

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Selfish sidewalk parkers

Signs along this chain link fence on the Queens Midtown Expressway near 69th Street say, "Private Property. No Parking. Violators will be towed away at owner's expense." The only problem with this is that it is not private property and is a sidewalk.

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Bill de Blasio: Redefining "Progressive"

Bill de Blasio: Redefining "Progressive"

Mayor de Blasio likes to portray himself as a selfless promoter of do-gooder liberal causes. But scratch the surface and it's quite apparent there are ulterior motives behind all of his so-called "progressive" ideals. Basically, the man and his cohorts have kidnapped progressive terminology to push forth their ideology, which always manages to improve the financial situation of his political donors.

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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 Tragedy of LED Streetlights:  They Don't Need To  Be Such a Nuisance

The Tragedy of LED Streetlights: They Don't Need To Be Such a Nuisance

I can see the enemy advancing by the day. The sidewalksthat crisscross my neighborhoodhave mostlychanged over to newfangled LED streetlights, whilemy block—a quiet residential side street—remains bathed in the orange glow of classic sodium-vapor lights. At least for now. Every night I find myself walking home under this reassuringglow, I knowit could be the last. The writing is on the wall (and well-publicized city plans):Even forgotten holdout blocks will eventually fall to the LED's promise of cheap, energy-efficient, and ever-so-bright white light. Now, you may know this change is fraught with issues. LED streetlights are decidedlyless romantic, add to light pollution, totallymess with our circadian rhythms, and are flat-outugly. What you may not know: This transition is all the more tragic because almost all of these drawbacks could be avoided.

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M Train shutdown barreling down the  tracks

M Train shutdown barreling down the tracks

It was announced in late March that the MTA will be shutting down various parts of the M line for 10 months starting in summer 2017 in order to rebuild a bridge and viaduct. This project was prioritized in order to allow for increased ridership on the M line before the anticipated L train shutdown which is expected to take 2 years.

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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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The preservation of  Old St. James Church:  Who's helping and who's not.

The preservation of Old St. James Church: Who's helping and who's not.

Over the course of the past 9 months or so, many people have been working very hard to see that landmark status is achieved for the old St. James Church in Elmhurst, a building which dates to 1735. Its history was detailed in the last edition of the Juniper Berry.

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GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD HOMES

GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD HOMES

The communities of Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale have some great homes.

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DID YOU KNOW?

DON'T DISTRACT LOVED ONES The National Safety Council released survey results showing that 82% of Americans drive distracted due to their loved ones.

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A Tribute to Mr. McHugh

A Tribute to Mr. McHugh

Mr. McHugh, a teacher extraordinaire, is retiring from Our Lady of Hope School after 47 years of dedicated service to over 56,000 classes representing about 11% of the community of Middle Village and neighboring areas.

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Curtis takes on  Queens Corruption

Curtis takes on Queens Corruption

Guardian Angels founder and radio personality Curtis Sliwa addressed the Juniper Park Civic Association at our April meeting. Presented is a summary of his remarks on different topics.

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ISSUES: The faulty logic behind Crowley's zoning "ye$" votes

ISSUES: The faulty logic behind Crowley's zoning "ye$" votes

Council Member Elizabeth Crowley penned an op-ed entitled ‒ "Why I Voted 'Yes' On MIH/ZQA" ‒ for local newspapers shortly after her affirmative votes on Mayor de Blasio's Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) proposals. But the reasons she gave for voting yes are disingenuous, to say the least. The full text of the letter may be found here: queenstribune.com/why-i-voted-yes-on-mihzqa

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The Nassau Heights Homes

The Nassau Heights Homes

One of the most beautiful streets in Maspeth is 69th Lane between Eliot and 60th Avenues. This block is dominated by towering trees and Tudor-style homes unique to the area. The original name of this development may come as a surprise. The 38 houses here were once marketed as the "Nassau Heights Homes."

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The amazing history of the USS John W. Brown

The amazing history of the USS John W. Brown

Great Britain had been fighting Germany for over two years when Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec.7, 1941 and Germany's declaration of war on the United States four days later finally forced the U.S. into World War II. Up until then a powerful isolationist sentiment had restrained our involvement. Thirteen months before Pearl Harbor, in Nov. 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to a third term as president. The war in Europe had been going on for more than a year, and Hitler had overrun Poland, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands and France, and was subjecting Britain to merciless bombings. U.S. neutrality laws in force stipulated that U.S. merchant ships could not carry arms nor could investors lend money or give credit to the countries involved in the fighting. Shortly after he was elected, Roosevelt proposed the Lend-Lease Act, which after much debate was passed.

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The continuing saga of a neglected footbridge

The continuing saga of a neglected footbridge

The Long Island Expressway pedestrian overpass at 84th street connects Middle Village to Elmhurst. Two years ago, in April 2014, I noticed that the gate of the overpass propertyon the Elmhurst side was open. This led to a secluded area where a group of youths had a hangout area with a table, chairs and a mattress.

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OP-ED: Hillary's Email Scandal... ‒ What it all means.

OP-ED: Hillary's Email Scandal... ‒ What it all means.

It seems that nearly every night the media has been busy updating the ongoing Hillary Clinton email scandal. And we often hear the Democratic Presidential frontrunner, say that her use of a private email account was not only legal and allowed, but that private email accounts were used by other Secretaries of State such as Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell. We also hear Hillary say that no emails marked classified were received or sent from her private email account, which begs the question as to why on earth would the FBI be investigating this non-event for over a year?

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Albany ethics need to be changed

Albany ethics need to be changed

The New York State government earlier this year passed its new budget in the early hours of the morning before any legislator had time to even read the actual bills in detail. It reminds me of a famous politician saying, "We need to pass the bill in order to find out what is in it." Making legislators vote on massive bills without having the chance to read them is one of the problems in government. No representative should vote yes or no on a bill they haven't had the opportunity to scrutinize in detail. Sadly, our representative Assemblywoman Markey did just that. What is even worse is that after the convictions of Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos, NOT ONE ethics measure was passed by the legislature. Why is this important for our district?

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