December 2018 Juniper Berry Magazine - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.
December Juniper Berry Magazine

December 2018 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: Metropolitan  Avenue  at  Christ the King,  looking  east

Yesterday & Today: Metropolitan Avenue at Christ the King, looking east

This scene has been a familiar one for many generations. But there have been some noticeable changes over the decades, too.

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BERRY BITS: JPCA Holiday Party & Raffle December 13th

BERRY BITS: JPCA Holiday Party & Raffle December 13th

The Juniper Park Civic Association will hold its annual holiday party and raffle on Thursday, December 13th, 2018 at 7:45pm at Our Lady of Hope Auditorium in Middle Village.

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BERRY BITS: Get Your JPCA 80th Anniversary Glasses

BERRY BITS: Get Your JPCA 80th Anniversary Glasses

JPCA has 80th anniversary stemless wine glasses available for purchase. Pick up at Enchanted Florist or at our December 13th Town Meeting for the low price of $3.00 each or 2 for $5.00.

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BERRY BITS: Rogue Towing Company Given the Boot

BERRY BITS: Rogue Towing Company Given the Boot

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) has revoked the towing license of All-American Auto Body, Inc. as a result of an inspection earlier this summer.

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BERRY BITS: Metro-Fresh Pond Bridge Work Completed!

BERRY BITS: Metro-Fresh Pond Bridge Work Completed!

This Thanksgiving, area residents were thankful that the work on the bridge over the LIRR tracks on Fresh Pond Road and Metropolitan Avenue was finally finished in mid-November!

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BERRY BITS: DSNY Is Now Recycling Electronics

BERRY BITS: DSNY Is Now Recycling Electronics

Since October 1st, Community Board 5 residents have had the ability to make an appointment to have their electronic waste picked up by the NYC Department of Sanitation.

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BERRY BITS: Penelope Avenue Sewer Project Starts Up Again

BERRY BITS: Penelope Avenue Sewer Project Starts Up Again

October 29, the Department of Design and Construction resumed work on the Penelope Avenue sewer project.

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BERRY BITS: High Lead Levels Found In Local Drinking Water

BERRY BITS: High Lead Levels Found In Local Drinking Water

To order a free water testing kit for lead, please call 311 or log onto nyc.gov/311.

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BERRY BITS: Principe Park Renovations May Be Delayed

BERRY BITS: Principe Park Renovations May Be Delayed

The Parks Department revealed that the flooding problem at the southwestern corner of the ballfields of Maurice/ Frank Principe Park may need to be alleviated by installing a drain larger than the one originally included in the plans.

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BERRY BITS: Glendale Shelter Site Eyed For School

BERRY BITS: Glendale Shelter Site Eyed For School

According to Council Member Holden, the School Construction Authority is interested in possibly acquiring the Cooper Avenue homeless shelter site for a new school.

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BERRY BITS: O'Neill's Rezoning Passed By City Council

BERRY BITS: O'Neill's Rezoning Passed By City Council

In a unanimous vote, the City Council passed the O'Neill's rezoning on September 26th after receiving the green light from Council Member Holden.

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BERRY BITS: School Incorporated Into 69th Street/Queens Blvd Project

BERRY BITS: School Incorporated Into 69th Street/Queens Blvd Project

The owner of a former gas station at 69th Street and Queens Blvd requested a zoning change for the entire block. The original zoning would have capped the height of the 2 proposed buildings at 11 and 12 stories and 289 units.

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BERRY BITS: More Efficient Way To File Air Noise Complaints

BERRY BITS: More Efficient Way To File Air Noise Complaints

We've all noticed a change in aircraft noise patterns over the past few years and especially the last few months. Many of us have taken the time to submit complaints to the FAA via their website.

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BERRY BITS: Check Christmas Trees For Unwanted Hitchhikers

BERRY BITS: Check Christmas Trees For Unwanted Hitchhikers

The spotted lanternfly is a very pretty insect, but it is invasive and destructive. Infestations have posed a real problem in Pennsylvania, and with Christmas tree season upon us the bug may be spread to our living rooms.

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BERRY BITS: Farewell To The Shalimar Diner

BERRY BITS: Farewell To The Shalimar Diner

Since 1974, a quick bus or car ride up Penelope Ave and across Queens Blvd was how local residents would arrive at the Shalimar Diner, located on 63rd Drive at Austin Street in Rego Park.

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BERRY BITS: New JVP Shower In The Works

BERRY BITS: New JVP Shower In The Works

Reconstruction of the spray showers at Juniper Valley Park started October 8th. It's anticipated that the construction will continue for approximately 1 year, which unfortunately means they will not be in service until after next summer is over.

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BERRY BITS: News From OLH School – Scholarship

BERRY BITS: News From OLH School – Scholarship

Once again, Gerard Farco, nephew of Basil & Josephine Greco, has started a scholarship for a 7th grade OLH student based on merit.

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BERRY BITS: News From OLH School – Teamwork

BERRY BITS: News From OLH School – Teamwork

Our Lady of Hope's Girls Soccer team were finalists in the CYO Bantam Division. Congratulations to all the girls who fought so hard to win, and to the coaches, Andrew DePergola (Andrew's Pizza) and Joe Termine.

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Firefighter Chris Gaulrapp Recognized At JPCA Meeting

Firefighter Chris Gaulrapp Recognized At JPCA Meeting

Firefighter Chris Gaulrapp, born and raised in Middle Village, was honored for his heroism at our October 18th meeting with his wife, Jaclyn, and their 2 children, 10-year old Nora and 8-year old Christopher, in attendance.

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A Message from the President, December 2018

A Message from the President, December 2018

Here we are as another year draws to a close and although we have some major concerns that we're keeping on top of, it's nice to slow down a bit and revel in the holiday season.

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Farewell To An Old Friend

Farewell To An Old Friend

As the director of the Maspeth Town Hall Save-a-Tree Program I organized many activities centered around trees. Our volunteers would go out on Grand Avenue and clear the street tree pits of weeds, litter and remove dead branches.

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Wildcat Cleaning Up Our Neighborhoods

Wildcat Cleaning Up Our Neighborhoods

Wildcat Service Corp. has been sprucing up our neighborhoods since August. They offer services such as removing graffiti, sweeping sidewalks, emptying trash baskets, taking down illegal signs, and now that we're going into winter, they will also be clearing sidewalks of snow, and shoveling snow at the homes of the elderly.

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THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: The Mayor's Irresponsible Neighborhood Jail Plan

THINGS THAT ARE DUMB: The Mayor's Irresponsible Neighborhood Jail Plan

On Valentine's Day this year, Mayor De Blasio, with support of the Governor, State Legislature, and City Council, approved a plan in secret to build a costly and unsubstantiated Borough-Based Jail system right in the middle of four of our New York City neighborhoods.

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Letters to the Editor, December 2018

Letters to the Editor, December 2018

Just an update on the tree fiasco that occurred on Goldington Court this past year. To give you some background, a Parks Department contractor originally planted five Shingle Oak trees on January 24, 2018.

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Dominick "Randy" Safuto 1944-2018

Dominick "Randy" Safuto 1944-2018

We are sad to report the passing of Dominick "Randy" Safuto, original lead singer of Randy and the Rainbows, in mid-October. Dominick had been performing with his brother Frank (also an original member of the group) until recently when he suffered a heart attack as he prepared for a routine medical procedure.

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The True Meaning of Holiday Greenery

The True Meaning of Holiday Greenery

That wreath you hang on your door looks nice, but the meaning behind it is what this time of year is all about.

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There's a "Buzz" at the 104th Precinct

There's a "Buzz" at the 104th Precinct

P.O. Darren Mays, assigned to the 104th Precinct, is one of only 2 beekeepers working for the NYPD. When a large collection of bees famously invaded a Times Square hot dog cart in late August, Darren was the officer that responded. NYPD beekeepers do this extra work voluntarily and are not reimbursed for it.

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Short Story: A Maspeth Snow Day

Short Story: A Maspeth Snow Day

The winters back when I was a kid were real winters. I remember snowstorms that closed schools, and some were so bad that the adults couldn't make it into work. Those were days I will never forget. 

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Moore, Harper, Nast and Santa Claus

Moore, Harper, Nast and Santa Claus

In 1823, Clement Clarke Moore's poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" alternately known as "Twas Night Before Christmas" brought the idea of Santa Claus into mainstream culture.

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Know your risk level before investing

Know your risk level before investing

After the first few articles on this subject, I hope you feel more comfortable with understanding and planning your financial choices with Mutual Funds, in your pension plans and investment accounts. One of the major things you have to think about is your tax situation.

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Birding at Mount Olivet

Birding at Mount Olivet

This past October 6th, Newtown Historical Society sponsored a walking tour of Maspeth's Mount Olivet Cemetery led by naturalist and birder extraordinaire, Rob Jett. We were treated to viewing numerous types of birds during the 2 -hour walk, thanks to Rob's expertise in spotting and identifying so many species. His ability to distinguish birds by their song and his keen eyesight made it possible to learn about the fowl among us that we would otherwise not even notice.

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History, Exercise and a Cycling Adventure along the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway

History, Exercise and a Cycling Adventure along the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway

Many New Yorkers cycle or walk Greenway Trails to include the first 3 miles of the converted 1908 Vanderbilt Motor Parkway from Cunningham to Alley Pond Parks. And while original posts and sections of the motorway are still visible, for the curious and adventurous, this forgotten history of the first concrete road built for automobiles and racing, requires further investigation.

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Before Juniper Valley Park and the Juniper Park Civic

Before Juniper Valley Park and the Juniper Park Civic

Most people living in the area have heard or read that the site of Juniper Valley Park was once swampland. That is true for the western end of the park, but the sections east of the flagpole were all farmland at one point, as were the areas to the north and south.

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Amazing Stories: Children Find Santa Claus is Real

Amazing Stories: Children Find Santa Claus is Real

A group of 32 crippled children ‒ some using crutches, others wearing braces and still others being assisted by older children ‒ invaded the toy departments of the Brooklyn department stores district yesterday to have a talk with Santa Claus.

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Cord Meyer, Jr.'s place in local history

Cord Meyer, Jr.'s place in local history

Cord Meyer, Jr. is quite an historic figure in the borough of Queens. The Maspeth native's father in 1852 founded a plant along the banks of Newtown Creek which rendered carbon from horse bones for the refining of sugar and the tinting of carriage paint.

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The Story of the Steinway Tunnels, Part 1

The Story of the Steinway Tunnels, Part 1

A No 7 straphanger passing under the East River might hum Billy Joel's "Piano Man" wondering who the Piano Man is. No, it's not Vladimir Horowitz or Art Tatum. Our straphanger may be surprised to learn that the tubes he is riding through are named after the real Piano Man ‒ William Steinway.

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Exploring the History of Woodside

Exploring the History of Woodside

The Woodside area of Newtown was still pretty much wilderness until the Revolutionary War changed that forever. Newtown had the largest group of Patriots.

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104th Pct Report: Get to Know Your Neighborhood Coordination Officers

104th Pct Report: Get to Know Your Neighborhood Coordination Officers

Neighborhood Coordination Officers, or NCOs, are your local problem solvers. They spend all their working hours within the confines of their assigned sectors, actively engaging with local community members and residents. They get to know the neighborhood, its people, and its problems extremely well.

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A Look At Two Traditional Christmas Favorites (and where to find them)

A Look At Two Traditional Christmas Favorites (and where to find them)

The Yule Log is a tradition that dates back to Iron Age Europe, prior to the Medieval era. Back then Celtic, Gaelic and other groups of pagans would burn huge logs adorned with spices, holly and pine cones to welcome the end of the winter solstice. They believed that the smoke cleansed their dwellings and the that the ashes held certain powers such as protection from lightning and other potential dangers.

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The amazing survival story of "The First Oval Office"

The amazing survival story of "The First Oval Office"

For American history buffs, this time of year brings to mind the surprise attack that changed the course of the Revolution. But the canvas walls that witnessed the planning of Revolutionary War strategy are generally not thought about all that much. That may be about to change.

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Another homeless shelter proposed for Maspeth?

Another homeless shelter proposed for Maspeth?

Juniper Park Civic Association will oppose any attempt by the City of New York to site a shelter at PS9 The Walter Reed School, a special education school in western Maspeth located at 58-74 57th Street between Grand and Flushing Avenues.

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A Visit to PS9 "The School with Heart" in Maspeth

A Visit to PS9 "The School with Heart" in Maspeth

As a member of the Maspeth community for my entire life, I had never visited PS 9 Walter Reed School until this past November. I was privileged to tour the school with the principal, Robert Wojnarowski, who is truly a large part of what gives "heart" to this school, along with his students and faculty.

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How to Make Classic Latkes

How to Make Classic Latkes

As the "Hanukkah miracle" saw the burning of a small amount of oil for 8 days, the foods typically prepared to celebrate the holiday are fried in oil. Latkes, also known as potato pancakes, are one of those foods. They are great year-round but hold a special meaning in December for those of the Jewish faith.

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Killy's Korner December 2018

Killy's Korner December 2018

Does it seem that winter is starting earlier this year? We've already had our first snow disaster with people stuck on the roads for hours. Is this a sign of what's to come? (I certainly hope not.) Look out for your elderly neighbors. Let's all help each other make it through the season so we can all have a happy and healthy New Year.

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Neighborhood Hall of Shame December 2018

Neighborhood Hall of Shame December 2018

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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200 years of Silent Night, 1818-2018

200 years of Silent Night, 1818-2018

The legend of the creation of the song "Silent Night" goes something like this: In late December 1818, there was an untimely crisis at St. Nicholas Church in the small village of Oberndorf bei Salzburg in Austria. The organ was found to be broken right before the holidays, and there was concern that the Christmas Mass would not be much of a celebration without it.

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