June 2017 Juniper Berry Magazine - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.
June Juniper Berry Magazine

June 2017 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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Vietnam Veterans Memorial design unveiled

Vietnam Veterans Memorial design unveiled

The Juniper Park Civic Association, led by Robert Holden and Tony Nunziato (inset photo), successfully lobbied elected officials to get on board, and together they convinced Keyspan to sell the former gas tanks site to the City of New York for $1 so it could be cleaned up and converted into a public park, which opened in 2010.

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Yesterday & Today: Maspeth Ave west of 61st Street

Yesterday & Today: Maspeth Ave west of 61st Street

Public School 72 opened in 1892 on Maspeth Avenue just west of 61st Street. Many older residents of the area were schooled there. In 1944, the Board of Education decided that the building, in disrepair, was no longer needed, as there was adequate capacity at PS73 and PS153 for area students.

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BERRY BITS: THERESA RILEY & DETECTIVE BELL HONORED AT SLOCUM REMEMBRANCE

BERRY BITS: THERESA RILEY & DETECTIVE BELL HONORED AT SLOCUM REMEMBRANCE

On Saturday June 10th JPCA Executive Board Member Theresa Riley who very deservedly received the General Slocum Award for outstanding community service. The co-recipient of the award was Det. Tommy Bell of the 104 Pct.

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BERRY BITS: St. Saviour's in the news again

BERRY BITS: St. Saviour's in the news again

After 8 long years in storage, St. Saviour's Church is making headlines again. Out of the blue, 2 TV stations and 2 newspapers called JPCA to inquire about the status of the project.

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BERRY BITS: Goodfellas Day

BERRY BITS: Goodfellas Day

May 11th is known as "Goodfellas Day" because it was Henry Hill's last day as a wiseguy as mentioned in the 1990 movie Goodfellas, which had several of its scenes filmed right here in Maspeth.

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BERRY BITS: Glendale Hero To Be Honored at Next Juniper Civic Town Meeting

BERRY BITS: Glendale Hero To Be Honored at Next Juniper Civic Town Meeting

At our next Town Meeting on June 22nd, JPCA will be honoring Jonathan Kulig of Glendale for a selfless act of heroism he performed on April 1st. A passenger had fallen onto the subway tracks at the 3rd Avenue L train station.

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BERRY BITS: Joe's Cleaning Up This Town

BERRY BITS: Joe's Cleaning Up This Town

For 35 years Joe Saracino has adopted the railroad bridge and surrounding area on Juniper Blvd South and 69th Place, sweeping and painting over graffiti.

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BERRY BITS: Merchant severs ties with Maspeth High School

BERRY BITS: Merchant severs ties with Maspeth High School

Recent revelations and additional conversations with the school about the way that local Catholic school students were unfairly discriminated against in the admissions process for Maspeth High School disappointed Harisch Studios to the point that they have informed the school they no longer wish to continue as a vendor.

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BERRY BITS: A quieter LIE coming soon?

BERRY BITS: A quieter LIE coming soon?

For years, many residents have complained about the noise levels on/near the LIE. Assembly Member Brian Barnwell announced at our March meeting that after months of discussion with the State DOT, the LIE from Maurice Avenue to 108th St. will receive relief from the noise.

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BERRY BITS: A big win for people & parks!

BERRY BITS: A big win for people & parks!

June 6th was a great day, for that was when the New York Court of Appeals handed down a 5-1 decision upholding a lower court ruling that prevented a mall from being built on public parkland at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

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BERRY BITS: Party celebrates Maspeth's 375th

BERRY BITS: Party celebrates Maspeth's 375th

On a very rainy Tuesday, March 28th, residents came together at Maspeth Federal Savings to celebrate the 375th anniversary of Maspeth's founding by English settlers under a Dutch patent. There was music, a little bit of dancing, short speeches, historic photos and lots of refreshments. The event kicked off the year-long series of events planned to celebrate this very special anniversary.

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BERRY BITS: Civic & MOFTB Working Together To Minimize Film Shoot Problems

BERRY BITS: Civic & MOFTB Working Together To Minimize Film Shoot Problems

It's always fun to see a familiar location featured on TV or in a movie, but filming complaints are increasing as production teams are more frequently "finding" our area. We have made some contacts at the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting (MOFTB) and have been working with them to resolve issues that arise.

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BERRY BITS: Package thieves are in the area

BERRY BITS: Package thieves are in the area

A number of package theft incidents have taken place lately in the Maspeth-Middle Village area. The thieves that were captured on surveillance video were observed passing by houses and then doubling back to take packages that were left on doorsteps by UPS and USPS.

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BERRY BITS: Hometown Hero John Russo honored

BERRY BITS: Hometown Hero John Russo honored

At our March Town Meeting, we honored John Russo, NYPD Lieutenant Commander – Detective Squad, whose keen intuition helped crack the Karina Vetrano case.

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When Middle Village Was Home to GI Housing

When Middle Village Was Home to GI Housing

Facing a gigantic housing shortage in the years after WWII due to the return of thousands of troops seeking to settle down and start families, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) turned to Quonset huts as a temporary emergency measure. These structures were placed in several Queens neighborhoods which had open space, including Middle Village, Jackson Heights, Idlewild (replaced by JFK airport in 1963) and the current Lefrak City area in Corona.

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The Calvary Line: Trolley to the Cemeteries

The Calvary Line: Trolley to the Cemeteries

Riders on the MTA Q67 bus line are probably unaware that this seemingly ordinary route has a long, colorful history: beginning in the 19th century as a horse car line with the sole purpose of carrying Manhattan visitors to the Calvary Cemetery on the outskirts of Long Island City.

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Maspeth-Middle Village Task Force's coalition strategy pays off

Maspeth-Middle Village Task Force's coalition strategy pays off

Mayor de Blasio announced a major policy shift on February 28th which will eventually end the City's use of hotels and cluster sites as homeless shelters. The City now plans to build shelters in individual communities sized to accommodate the number of homeless that originate from them. This means homeless families and individuals will be able to remain in their own familiar neighborhoods while they rebuild their lives.

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Rest in peace, William Tolley

Rest in peace, William Tolley

Glendale lost one an amazing person this past April 20th when Firefighter William Tolley, a 14-year FDNY veteran, fell from a rooftop to his death after extinguishing a fire in a Ridgewood apartment.

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BERRY BITS: Roofing scammers are back

BERRY BITS: Roofing scammers are back

If anyone hired a roofer after they rang your doorbell please call us at (718) 651-5865. The Juniper Park Civic Association will send a licensed neighborhood roofer FREE OF CHARGE to your house to check the roof.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Beware of the open car door thief

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Beware of the open car door thief

An 82-year-old man who usually walks with a dog has been observed checking to see if cars parked in Middle Village have been left unlocked. If he finds that they are, he'll take whatever items he finds inside.

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Polish music, culture and history celebrated at fantastic festival

Polish music, culture and history celebrated at fantastic festival

Maspeth Federal Savings, Newtown Historical Society, Juniper Park Civic Association and the Knockdown Center teamed up on April 9th to sponsor a free Polish Music Festival as part of a year-long series of events honoring the 375th Anniversary of the founding of Maspeth. The event was organized by Christina Wilkinson, Kim Caruana, Tony Nunziato and Daniel Kurzyna.

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BERRY BITS: JPCA marches in Maspeth Memorial Day Parade

BERRY BITS: JPCA marches in Maspeth Memorial Day Parade

Thank you to Lance Lovejoy, Christina Wilkinson, Charlie Vavruska, Barbara, Michael and Brooke Louisa, Kim and Manny Caruana, Robert, Amy and Jane Holden, Christopher Kehrer, Rudy Masi and Maryann Todzia for representing JPCA in the Maspeth Memorial Day Parade and to Tony Nunziato for driving the antique truck.

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Letters to the Editor

Conversion of a one to two family house is taking place at the end of our block, address 64-27 75 St., Middle Village. Approximately 3 weeks ago we No Parking Anytime signs, temporary construction placed from the beginning of the property to the end before the community drive.

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Did you know?

Did you know?

Three experimental Zika vaccines have been found to protect macaque monkeys against infection from the virus. This has excited scientists as it may mean it is possible in people as well. The results were reported by the journal, Science. One of the vaccines will be tested on humans for the first time this year.

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Writing About Maspeth

Writing About Maspeth

Maspeth, with its working class characters all struggling to embrace the American Dream, and the dream-like Manhattan skyline looming in the eastern sky was enough to make a young man want to write.

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The legacy of Herman Ringe

The legacy of Herman Ringe

Herman Ringe was quite the man about town. Today, it would be multiple towns. He was born in 1876 and lived his entire life in an area known as "Metropolitan" which was situated between Fresh Pond Road and Flushing Avenues on both sides of Metropolitan Avenue. (The area is now evenly split between Maspeth and Ridgewood.) His family owned a general store at the corner of Forest and Metropolitan Avenues.

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104th Pct Report

104th Pct Report

2/13/17 ‒ 72nd St. and 57th Ave. Three perpetrators broke into a house and stole four cameras. 2/21/17 ‒ Dark-skinned male broke into house via window air conditioner slot. Nothing was stolen. Perpetrator fled when discovered by resident, who was home at time of break in.

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The short sordid history of the Maspeth High School

The short sordid history of the Maspeth High School

Maspeth High School has become so ingrained in the community that it's hard to remember a time when hasn't been around. But in reality, it opened only 6 short years ago. Its history up until now has been a turbulent one, which this article will recap.

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Q&A with Robert Holden, Candidate for City Council

Q&A with Robert Holden, Candidate for City Council

Robert Holden (or "Bob" as he prefers to be called) has served as President of Juniper Park Civic Association since 1990. Bob has decided to run for the City Council, 30th District, and challenge not only the incumbent, Elizabeth Crowley, but also the entire Queens County Democratic Machine led by her cousin, Joe Crowley.

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A Tribute to Ms. Michele Krebs

A Tribute to Ms. Michele Krebs

Ms. Michele Krebs, the principal of Our Lady of Hope Catholic Academy, is following her lifetime dream of opening a daycare center. The pastor, faculty, parents, and students honor her years of service and love to the community of Our Lady of Hope.

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Hike on Over to Forest Park

Hike on Over to Forest Park

While Juniper Valley Park remains central to our neighborhood recreation, just 3 miles to the south lies our nearest underappreciated woodland, Forest Park.

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OP-ED: The Swamp is Bigger Than Expected

OP-ED: The Swamp is Bigger Than Expected

Spying on citizens, undermining political rivals using government agencies with impunity and ignoring the rule of law destroy the stability of a nation. They make up the vapors emanating from the Washington swamp that President Trump declared he would drain but they are only the bubbling byproducts of the massive network of corrupt politicians, lobbyists, politically appointed ideological judges and lawless law enforcement officials.

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From Malta to Maspeth: Joseph Caruana's First 100 Years

From Malta to Maspeth: Joseph Caruana's First 100 Years

This past March, my family and I celebrated the one-hundredth birthday of my grandfather, Joseph Caruana. Seeing Joe walk the streets of Maspeth now, you can easily dismiss him as just another resident, but no one lives a century without a few stories to tell.

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NYC Parks committed to preserving Ridgewood Reservoir as natural open space

NYC Parks committed to preserving Ridgewood Reservoir as natural open space

NYC Parks has successfully completed a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reclassification of the Ridgewood Reservoir, lowering the dam hazard rating from Class C "High Hazard" to Class A "Low Hazard." This new designation eliminates the need to create any breaches in the dam, preserving it as a natural treasure for the local community.

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Fitness trackers as workout partners

Fitness trackers as workout partners

You may have seen people walking around with rubber wristbands containing exercise trackers. Perhaps you wondered if it was something you could use or felt intimidated out of fear that you wouldn't be able to figure it out. Well, if you are interested in staying in shape and want something to monitor your progress, a fitness tracker is a technologically advanced way to do it that actually isn't all that hard to understand.

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Killy's Corner

Killy's Corner

Looks like we made it through the long winter and it wasn't all that bad. The snow birds are back and we look forward to a great summer.

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Short Story: I am not a sycamore!

Short Story: I am not a sycamore!

One sunny Saturday morning, two men were seated on a bench facing the London plane tree in Juniper Valley Park. In front of each of them, seated on the ground, were their respective dogs: a golden retriever, whose luxurious honey-colored coat was further gilded by the bright sunshine, the other a small and scruffy looking dog of uncertain ancestry, what Mark Twain would have called "a composite dog."

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Community Eyesores

Community Eyesores

We can only imagine the accident that caused this mess on 74th Street and 57th Avenue. The fence is mangled and really needs to be fixed. In addition, there is a stray shopping cart lingering about. We suggest that both the mangled metal and the wagon be removed ASAP and the fence can be replaced at a later time.

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Robert J. Marks Post, G.A.R.

Robert J. Marks Post, G.A.R.

Brooklyn Eagle, Nov 11, 1889 ROBERT J. MARKS POST, G. A. R. Dedicating the Soldiers' Monument at Mount Olivet Cemetery Yesterday.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Bioswale headscratcher

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Bioswale headscratcher

There has been some debate over whether or not bioswales are effective. We believe they could be effective at absorbing rainwater if they are maintained properly.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Puerto Rican Day Parade honors terrorist

In May, Puerto Rican Day Parade officials announced that this year they would be honoring Oscar Lopez Rivera, a convicted terrorist, as their first ever "National Freedom Hero".

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: You can't get there from here

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: You can't get there from here

As we all are aware by now, the bridge repairs at Metropolitan Ave and Fresh Pond Road are finally in full swing. However, we have to believe there is a better way to treat pedestrians who need to cross at the affected corner.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Cross Harbor – $70M more down the drain

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Congressman Jerrold Nadler announced on May 5th that "a major milestone" for the Cross Harbor Freight Movement Project had been reached.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Dumb Donors

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Dumb Donors

It would stand to reason that if you want to make a donation of furniture or clothing to the Salvation Army, then you would wait until their normal business hours to drop off the items ‒ and do it inside the store instead of on their sidewalk!

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Drivers think road is reserved just for them

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Drivers think road is reserved just for them

The DOT reconfigured the intersection at Caldwell Avenue and 82nd Street in an attempt to make it safer. They have placed collapsible plastic bollards around a section of the street.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Tree pruners cause havoc

"No Parking" signs were placed on 65th Drive to accommodate tree pruning in early April. The signs indicated that workers would be in the area April 8-10. They did not show up on those dates, but rather on April 12 when drivers had thought they were in the clear to park there again.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Parking hogs at Juniper

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Parking hogs at Juniper

It was brought to our attention that some selfish people are reserving parking along the perimeter of Juniper Valley Park. This is against the law. Period. If you see objects placed in the street, we suggest you move them. If someone repeatedly does this, please inform the civic and we will work with the proper authorities to rectify the situation.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: DeBlasio proves to be an extremely poor liar

In March, Mayor de Blasio announced that he was directing all schools in the city to turn Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents away at their doors in order to protect immigrant children.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Crowley supports closing Riker's and opening local jails

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Crowley supports closing Riker's and opening local jails

Elizabeth Crowley revealed to NY1 that she still supports the closing of Riker's Island and the placement of incarcerated individuals in facilities closer to residential communities.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Stealing from the City as a Business

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Stealing from the City as a Business

It was reported in Crain's New York Business in July that the City of New York loses a boatload of money each year to bottle and can scavengers. Roughly 70,000 tons of recyclable materials are taken from what the city expects to collect, which affects how much the city can sell.

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