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

December 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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Yesterday & Today Winter 2017

Yesterday & Today Winter 2017

GRAND AVENUE AT FLUSHING AVENUE, LOOKING WEST, CA. 1910.

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BERRY BITS: Online voter registration passes the City Council

BERRY BITS: Online voter registration passes the City Council

Following a historic low in voter turnout in New York City's 2017 General Election for municipal offices, the New York City Council Committee on Governmental Operations passed legislation to implement online voter registration.

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BERRY BITS: Mafera & Juniper hockey rinks to receive upgrades

BERRY BITS: Mafera & Juniper hockey rinks to receive upgrades

For years, residents complained about the conditions at local hockey rinks in Juniper Valley Park in Middle Village and Mafera Park in Ridgewood.

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BERRY BITS: LIE diamond grinding underway

BERRY BITS: LIE diamond grinding underway

That noise you hear at night is the sound of progress. Diamond grinding of the LIE roadbed is happening right now. One side is already completed and the second side is currently under reconstruction.

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BERRY BITS: Patrizia's to open in spring

BERRY BITS: Patrizia's to open in spring

The popular Italian restaurant chain known as Patrizia's plans to open a location right here in Maspeth. Renovations of the former McDonald's location at Grand Avenue are underway and if all goes well the opening will take place sometime in March or April.

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BERRY BITS: Ridgewood Reservoir to receive double protection

BERRY BITS: Ridgewood Reservoir to receive double protection

In November, word came from both the State Department of Environmental Conservation and the State Historic Preservation Office that Albany planned to protect the Ridgewood Reservoir from future destruction.

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BERRY BITS: Directing legend visits Maspeth

BERRY BITS: Directing legend visits Maspeth

Nick Diamantis, co-owner of the Goodfellas (Clinton) Diner in Maspeth, reports that Goodfellas director Martin Scorsese dropped by on August 23rd with his grandchildren.

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BERRY BITS: Key Food moving into Duane Reade space

BERRY BITS: Key Food moving into Duane Reade space

In November, a sign appeared on the facade of the former Duane Reade building that says "Parking for Key Food customers only" and renovation permits were posted.

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BERRY BITS: 70th Street sewer project to commence in 2018

BERRY BITS: 70th Street sewer project to commence in 2018

Residents already weary of sewer construction in Middle Village and along Calamus Avenue listened to another presentation in November from the NYC Department of Design and Construction regarding the planned work to install another sewer line in Maspeth.

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BERRY BITS: 69th Street bridge to undergo construction

BERRY BITS: 69th Street bridge to undergo construction

In order to complete repair work for the replacement of bridge joints on the 69th Street bridge over the Long Island Expressway, the NYC DOT Division of Bridges will close one lane at a time in either direction.

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BERRY BITS: 54th Avenue converted to one-way

BERRY BITS: 54th Avenue converted to one-way

In mid-November, the Department of Transportation proceeded with a safety improvement project near I.S. 73.

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BERRY BITS: The birds are back in town

BERRY BITS: The birds are back in town

Birders have noticed the recent return of 3 winter bird species to our area. Dark-eyed Juncos White-throated Sparrows and Black-capped Chickadees have been making appearances at our local cemeteries, parks and backyard feeders.

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The British Encampment on the Hill

The British Encampment on the Hill

In 1775 as the Revolutionary War was starting, there was a sharp disagreement among the local farmers as to their future government with some of the farmers being Loyalists who wanted the English Government to remain in America and others were Patriots seeking American independence.

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2017: The Year in Review

2017: The Year in Review

Over the past 12 months, there were the usual civic frustrations, but many battles also came to joyous conclusions. Some of the fights were small and some were large, but all were hard fought with many years in the making. There also were several events held throughout the year which brought us closer together as a community including social gatherings, awards ceremonies and other public celebrations. We present the year in review.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Speaker candidates all want to extend term limits

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Speaker candidates all want to extend term limits

At a forum in November, all 8 of the speaker candidates said that they believe that City Council members ‒ but not the mayor, public advocate or comptroller ‒ should be allowed to serve 3 terms.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Crowley makes one last push to close Rikers

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Crowley makes one last push to close Rikers

As we are all aware, Council Member Elizabeth Crowley will depart the City Council on December 31st. But she has decided to make one last push to close Rikers Island at an oversight hearing held on December 4th by the Fire & Criminal Justice Committee, which she helms.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Progressives demand tolerance then throw verbal bombs

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Progressives demand tolerance then throw verbal bombs

After Robert Holden defeated Elizabeth Crowley at the polls in November, 2 pols known to be way left of center pounced on Bob Holden.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Verizon abandoning equipment

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Verizon abandoning equipment

This Verizon box is located on Grand Avenue near the corner of Hamilton Place. Apparently, it met with misfortune back in November.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Cashless tolling gouges drivers

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Cashless tolling gouges drivers

Removing toll booths was sold as a benefit to drivers as slowing down at crossings would no longer be required. While traffic has sped up, many passes through the scanners have resulted in stealth fines.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Local roads are not truck routes

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: Local roads are not truck routes

We've featured this particular problem at this intersection many times before. Tractor trailer drivers are always trying to avoid traffic in the area by taking shortcuts through our residential streets.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: 24 hour SBS bus lanes causing all day traffic jams

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: 24 hour SBS bus lanes causing all day traffic jams

If you normally drive via Woodhaven Blvd, you have no doubt noticed that your commute has doubled or tripled. In fact, even if you skirt the artery by instead taking side streets that feed into the road, you have no doubt sat in traffic for an extended period of time.

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Our Beloved Vice President Loraine Sciulli 1934 – 2017

Our Beloved Vice President Loraine Sciulli 1934 – 2017

We are saddened to announce that Lorraine Sciulli, longtime Vice President of the Juniper Park Civic Association, passed away on Wednesday, November 29th at the age of 82.

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Letters to the Editor Winter 2017

Letters to the Editor Winter 2017

I cannot get over the immature and irrational response our mayor had when questioned about Bob Holden's victory over incumbent Liz Crowley after the election. First, de Blasio claimed not to know Bob – an outright lie. While the two may not have met formally, I am certain de Blasio is very familiar with the name.

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How a lifelong Middle Village resident became homeless

How a lifelong Middle Village resident became homeless

I'm writing this to assure other homeless individuals and families that they are not alone. I'd like to share my own story with you.

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Our never ending traffic & transit nightmare

Our never ending traffic & transit nightmare

On its surface, the mayor's Vision Zero plan seemed like a good one. If the City reduces threats to pedestrian and cyclist safety, there will be fewer car crashes resulting in funerals. Safety has certainly improved due to certain measures that were implemented, like daylighting at corners and the installation of speed humps. But some things put forth have had the effect of worsening traffic in our neighborhoods to the point where it comes to a complete standstill.

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How David unseated Goliath

How David unseated Goliath

When it was finally over – it wasn't.  As the winners of the contests for this past November's elections were being announced the following morning on local TV and radio, the City Council race for the 30th District between civic leader Bob Holden and incumbent Elizabeth Crowley was still undecided with Holden holding a slight 133 vote lead.

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'Tis the season for mistletoe and holly

'Tis the season for mistletoe and holly

"Oh by gosh, by golly, it's time for mistletoe and holly!" crooned Frank Sinatra in the 1950s. The holiday tune celebrates 2 of the 3 plants most associated with Christmas. (The third would be poinsettia.)

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The true meaning of Maspeth's ancient name

The true meaning of Maspeth's ancient name

On March 19, 1889, the Brooklyn Eagle focused its attention on the origin of Maspeth's name by publishing an article entitled, "The Indians Called It Mespat ‒ 'An Inundating Tidal River'".

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Meet the Graffiti Avengers

Meet the Graffiti Avengers

A few years ago, Peter Sofio and Richie Polgar made a pact to adopt the LIE wall from 80th Street to 73rd Street. The two met at a Juniper Juniors cleanup where the group joined forces with the Maspeth High School Green Team and cleaned graffiti and litter from bad spots in the neighborhood.

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Amazing Stories: Campaign launched to bring Shea cops back to 104th Pct

Amazing Stories: Campaign launched to bring Shea cops back to 104th Pct

(May 23, 2002) During every New York Mets home game, dozens of police officers are taken from local precincts and assigned to patrol Shea Stadium and the outlying Flushing area. And, since September 11th the number of NYPD officers present at each game has doubled.

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Amazing Stories: Davis Remanded for Sentence

Amazing Stories: Davis Remanded for Sentence

(April 20, 1903) He is the man who "found" his own child in the roadway at Maspeth.

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Amazing Stories: Queens man sentenced for killing bridge painter

Amazing Stories: Queens man sentenced for killing bridge painter

(June 13, 2007) A homeless man was sentenced yesterday to 23 years in prison for fatally shooting a bridge painter who asked him to move his belongings from a Grand Central Parkway paint job in November 2004, prosecutors said.

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Amazing Stories: Woman Behind the Gun

Amazing Stories: Woman Behind the Gun

(March 17, 1909) Arraigned in special session for discharging weapon in street at Maspeth – Case Adjourned.

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Amazing Stories: Farmer Drowned While on His Way to Market

Amazing Stories: Farmer Drowned While on His Way to Market

(January 27, 1862) On Saturday morning, as a farmer was coming into the City with a load of cabbages, in a two-horse team, on the Maspeth Turnpike, owing to the high tide, he missed the bridge and drove into Newtown Creek, where driver and horses were drowned.

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Amazing Stories: Man admits killing woman and abandoning child

Amazing Stories: Man admits killing woman and abandoning child

(February 17, 2006) A Queens man pleaded guilty yesterday in the death of his girlfriend and the abandonment of her 4-year old daughter, prosecutors said.

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The Magic of the Redbud

The Magic of the Redbud

An extraordinary thing had happened to Shayla MacLeish. Everyone who knew her thought her an extremely serious child, one who had peered at everything in the world studiously through her rectangular-shaped, black-rimmed glasses since she was barely out of toddlerhood.

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Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish Marks 100 years

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish Marks 100 years

2017 marks the 100th year of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal parish serving the Roman Catholic community of Ridgewood, Middle Village and Maspeth.

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The Maspeth baby farmers of 1890

The Maspeth baby farmers of 1890

In the 1800s, it was commonplace for unwed mothers to send their children to live elsewhere in order to preserve their reputations. They generally would pay an older woman or a couple a few dollars a week to care for their offspring but these homes were often themselves overcrowded and in squalid condition. The infamous "Maspeth Baby Farm", as it came to be known, was no exception.

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Opossum breaks into 104th Precinct stationhouse

Opossum breaks into 104th Precinct stationhouse

An opossum found its way into the 104th Precinct stationhouse on December 2nd and made itself at home. The marsupial was first spotted by Officer Charlie Sadler in a supply closet in the basement of the building.

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104th Precinct Report Winter 2017

104th Precinct Report Winter 2017

Don't give bad guys a good deal - Do not carry large amounts of cash.  - Never carry your wallet in your back pocket.  - Pickpockets usually work in teams of two or more people.

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The Unintended Consequences of Vision Zero

The Unintended Consequences of Vision Zero

A few weeks ago, I came across about a dozen police officers spread out around the intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and Selfridge Street, in front of the Metropolitan Avenue Educational Campus. They had some billboards up advertising the Vision Zero campaign, and were handing out pamphlets.

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Snow Removal: Your Responsibilities – A Guide for Homeowners, Property Managers, Businesses & Residents

Snow Removal: Your Responsibilities – A Guide for Homeowners, Property Managers, Businesses & Residents

DSNY is responsible for snow removal from the City's 19,000 lane miles of roadways. When weather predictions show a winter storm, DSNY personnel begin equipment readiness, including loading salt spreaders, attaching plows, preparing tire chains and notifying personnel.

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History Spotlight: Charles Imperial

History Spotlight: Charles Imperial

Charles G. Imperial lived in Maspeth and Middle Village for almost 70 years and distinguished himself by his sincere dedication and substantial contributions to the welfare of his community. His spirit of humanity, of devotion to the good of all, carried over into all fields of enterprise, including charitable and philanthropic work.

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Community Spotlight: Victoria Richardson, Principal St. Margaret's

Community Spotlight: Victoria Richardson, Principal St. Margaret's

The Saint Margaret Community happily welcomes, for the second year, Victoria Richardson as Principal at the Saint Margaret Catholic Academy. She was born and raised in Maspeth, and loved the area so much that she decided to never leave.

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Neighborhood Hall of Shame Community Eyesores

Neighborhood Hall of Shame Community Eyesores

Just because a property is for sale doesn't exempt the owner from maintaining it. A neat appearance is also generally more attractive to potential buyers. This commercial yard on 57th Avenue is fronted by a roll down gate that needs some attention.

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Christmas Eve on Mazeau Street, 1959

Christmas Eve on Mazeau Street, 1959

I was 6 years old and excited to hold not only one more finger up, but a whole new hand, when I told people my age. The days before Christmas were magical, and everyone was in a festive mood. My mom and dad were smiling with an occasional kiss (yuck). My grandfather, aunt, uncles, and cousins were all coming in with packages, along with bags of groceries for the big Christmas dinner.

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Killy's Korner Winter 2017

Killy's Korner Winter 2017

As I write my last column for 2017, congratulations are in order for the outgoing president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, Robert Holden, who has been elected in a hard-fought battle for the City Council.  Both he and his energetic campaign committee worked tirelessly at pounding the pavement to prevail over the Democratic incumbent, Elizabeth Crowley in a very close race.

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