June 2019 Juniper Berry Magazine - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.
June Juniper Berry Magazine

June 2019 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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Getting to know Captain Victoria Perry

Getting to know Captain Victoria Perry

Captain Victoria Perry was welcomed as the new Commanding Officer of the 104th Precinct at JPCA's April 25th meeting, taking over the reins from Deputy Inspector John Mastronardi.

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Amazing Stories 6-2019

Amazing Stories 6-2019

The mystery surrounding the disappearance of Frederick Herman, a retired New York confectioner, 81 years old, who resided with his daughter, Mrs. John Huhn on Sycamore avenue, this village, was solved yesterday when his dead body was found lying on the grave of his wife in Lutheran Cemetery, Middle Village, by George Frank of 312 Harman street, Brooklyn, who was passing through the burying place.

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Honoring Maspeth WWII hero Joseph Schmidt

Honoring Maspeth WWII hero Joseph Schmidt

Twenty-one-year old Joseph Schmidt of 69th Lane in Maspeth was called for military duty in 1942 and did his basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia.

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Berry Bits: JPCA marches in Maspeth Memorial Day Parade

Berry Bits: JPCA marches in Maspeth Memorial Day Parade

The 34th annual Maspeth Memorial Day Parade was held on a warm and sunny Sunday, May 26th, followed by memorial services at Maspeth Memorial Park.

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Berry Bits: Verify your polling site

Berry Bits: Verify your polling site

The Department of Elections has changed the voting locations for many Maspeth and Middle Village voters for the upcoming June 25th primary.

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Berry Bits: Early voting locations

Berry Bits: Early voting locations

It was announced this past May that the Metro Mall will be one of the locations where early voting will take place for this year's general election.

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Berry Bits: Cops crack down on spot savers

Berry Bits: Cops crack down on spot savers

Those residents who think it is acceptable to use cones, garbage pails or other objects to reserve parking spaces got a big surprise when the 104 Pct announced action against the illegal practice.

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Berry Bits: Queens Place Mall rumor

Berry Bits: Queens Place Mall rumor

Fear and uncertainty swept through Elmhurst in early May when the Chair of CB4, Louis Walker, surprisingly announced at a community board meeting that the Queens Place Mall on Queens Blvd would close by the end of this year and that anchor tenant Target would relocate to the Metro Mall on Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village.

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Berry Bits: Rally taken to Cooper Ave site owner's home

Berry Bits: Rally taken to Cooper Ave site owner's home

On April 13, community members from Middle Village and Glendale, led by Glendaler Mike Papa, rallied at the home of Michael Wilner, the owner of 78-16 Cooper Ave, who is working with shelter providers to convert his defunct factory into a homeless shelter for 200 formerly incarcerated single men.

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Berry Bits: Redesign Fresh Pond Road

Berry Bits: Redesign Fresh Pond Road

The NYC Dept of Transportation's "Better Buses Action Plan" was announced in April. The initiative seeks to speed up bus transit along congested corridors.

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Berry Bits: Kosciuszko Bridge opening 4 years early

Berry Bits: Kosciuszko Bridge opening 4 years early

Governor Andrew Cuomo surprisingly announced that the second span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge will open this September, which would be 4 years ahead of schedule. To top it off, the cost of the bridge is within its projected budget.

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Berry Bits: Grand Street Bridge replacement is years away

Berry Bits: Grand Street Bridge replacement is years away

The NYC Dept. of Transportation announced that the rebuild of the 115-year-old Grand Street Bridge will go into the design phase in 2021, with work expected to start in 2023.

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Berry Bits: Cross Bay Bridge will soon be free

Berry Bits: Cross Bay Bridge will soon be free

A program that reimburses Queens residents for the cost of the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge toll will start in spring 2020, the MTA and public officials announced in April.

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Berry Bits: Flushing Ave underpass cleaned by DOT

Berry Bits: Flushing Ave underpass cleaned by DOT

In the March 2019 issue of the Juniper Berry, the graffiti along the Flushing Avenue underpass was featured as a Community Eyesore.

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Berry Bits: London Lennie's for sale as development site

Berry Bits: London Lennie's for sale as development site

There was a bit of shock and sadness in the area on May 23rd when a Zillow listing featuring beloved neighborhood institution, London Lennie's was listed as being for sale as a "rare development site" for $6.5M.

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Berry Bits: Ferris wheel comes to Forest Park

Berry Bits: Ferris wheel comes to Forest Park

An historic 70-year old Ferris wheel which was once part of a traveling carnival in Pennsylvania debuted at Forest Park on Memorial Day weekend.

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Berry Bits: Street tree success

Berry Bits: Street tree success

In the June 2018 edition of "Things That Are Dumb," we brought you the story of trees planted on Goldington Court in the dead of winter that were predictably dead by spring.

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Berry Bits: Juniper Juniors join forces with Blau Weiss Gottschee

Berry Bits: Juniper Juniors join forces with Blau Weiss Gottschee

The Blau Weiss Gottschee U9 & U10 Girls soccer teams used their off day to give back to the Middle Village community.

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Buttah: It's a family affair

Buttah: It's a family affair

Sisters Kristin and Stacey Viola are the owners of Buttah, a popular Ridgewood bakery located across the street from St. Aloysius Church on Onderdonk Avenue. Both are Christ the King alumni with Stacey having graduated in 2003 and Kristin in 2004.

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DEC informs public about contaminated Woodhaven Blvd site

DEC informs public about contaminated Woodhaven Blvd site

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) announces that the printed Record of Decision (ROD) for the 75-09 Woodhaven Boulevard (Home Depot Off-site) site ("site") located at 75-09 Woodhaven Boulevard, Rego Park, Queens, NY is available for public review.

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Mr. District Attorney – Richard A. Brown

Mr. District Attorney – Richard A. Brown

How do you sum up a 63-year career in public service in 900 words? That is how long Queens County District Attorney Richard A. Brown ("Judge Brown", as he was affectionately called) served the people of New York State.

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Elmhurst Eagles to the rescue

Elmhurst Eagles to the rescue

The flags flying at local parks and triangles were in rough shape by the end of winter. JPCA President Tony Nunziato was appalled when he first noticed that the American flag displayed at Whitefish Triangle in Maspeth was extremely tattered.

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Why fireflies light up the night

Why fireflies light up the night

My birthday is at the end of June and when I was a kid there were 2 things my brain associated that special day with ‒ the end of the school year and the beginning of firefly season.

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Neighborhood Hall of Shame 6-2019

Neighborhood Hall of Shame 6-2019

This construction fence on the corner of 83rd Street and Grand Avenue is covered in graffiti. Although the fence is considered "temporary" it has been an eyesore for months.

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Court rules against Holiday Inn Express owners

Court rules against Holiday Inn Express owners

In early May, the New York Supreme Court issued a blow to New Ram Realty, (aka Harshad Patel, et al) by siding with the landlord of the Maspeth Holiday Inn Express (KCM Realty Company), located at 59-40 55 Road, in declaring that New Ram's arrangement with the NYC Department of Homeless Services and Acacia Network violated the terms of their land lease.

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In memoriam: John Kempisty

In memoriam: John Kempisty

Longtime Maspeth community volunteer and activist and United States Army WW II Veteran John Kempisty passed away on Thursday, May 16 at the age of 98.

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The Photography of Richard Murillo

The Photography of Richard Murillo

Richard Murillo, a talented amateur photographer from Maspeth, has been posting his intriguing photos on Facebook for others to enjoy. He has an eye for creating evocative images and has graciously allowed us to highlight a sample of them on the pages of this magazine.

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The L purgatory isn't all that bad

The L purgatory isn't all that bad

Little pink posters follow me everywhere. They're signaling the start of the shutdown of the L train. Late in April, Governor Cuomo's plan went into effect and the L train started running between Brooklyn and Manhattan every twenty minutes during late nights and weekends.

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GREG LASAK FOR QUEENS DISTRICT ATTORNEY

GREG LASAK FOR QUEENS DISTRICT ATTORNEY

Judge Gregory Lasak is running for Queens District Attorney after a distinguished career in justice and law enforcement as a progressive Queens prosecutor and fair-minded Queens County State Supreme Court Justice.

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A Message from the President 6-2019

A Message from the President 6-2019

If you are a registered Democrat in Queens County, please cast your vote for Greg Lasak. The safety of our borough is dependent on the choice you make at the ballot box later this month.

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Letters to the Editor 6-2019

Letters to the Editor 6-2019

Received the March 2019 "Berry" today and just finished the wonderful article by Victoria Cambranes. How lucky we are to have a fighter like you. So much information in this Berry. Thank you all that are involved with producing this wonderful publication.

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The Love Train

The Love Train

Growing up in Maspeth had always been stable and predictable. I knew the neighborhoods, the people, what buses and trains went where, and what bus stops had great places to eat, just like the pizzeria on Grand Avenue across the street from the Maspeth movie house and Occhiogrosso's Pastry.

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A sad situation with a happy ending

A sad situation with a happy ending

An elderly widower named Larry owned two houses and an adjoining garage in Maspeth. After losing his wife, Larry was lonely, so he started taking in cats that had been dumped around the neighborhood and ended up with too many.

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The Mott Family Burial Ground

The Mott Family Burial Ground

The Mott family farm once stood near the corner of 55th Street and Maspeth Avenue before succumbing to the encroaching tide of Queens industrialization. Originally called Smith's Island, the property was later called Mott's Island while that family was in residence and Furman's Island after they sold it to Garrit Furman in 1815.

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Mutual Fund investing: Tying it all together

Mutual Fund investing: Tying it all together

After the previous articles building information on Mutual Funds, I hope to tie it together for you with this article and the next. By now if you have read all the articles you have a basic understanding of how Mutual Funds work, the types that exist and where you can use them.

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First of its kind tour of Forest Park and its Greenhouse

First of its kind tour of Forest Park and its Greenhouse

On April 27th, the Newtown Historical Society conducted an historic tour of the western end of Forest Park, including its historic greenhouse.

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Attendees enjoy All Faiths Cemetery tour

Attendees enjoy All Faiths Cemetery tour

Newtown Historical Society conducted a 2-hour nature and history tour of Lutheran-All Faiths Cemetery on May 11, which coincidentally was also International Migratory Bird Day.

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Ridgewood Reservoir tour August 11th

Ridgewood Reservoir tour August 11th

Sunday, August 11th, Newtown Historical Society will be offering a special nature and history tour of the Ridgewood Reservoir starting at 10am in the main parking lot on Vermont Place at Highland Park.

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NYC Nature: Expect the Unexpected

NYC Nature: Expect the Unexpected

A Mandarin Duck that appeared this winter in Central Park was separated from its natural habitat by a few oceans, but it was likely an escapee from a collection. Still, its attention-attracting plumage was in the news for weeks.

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Juniper Berry featured in Maspeth Memorial Day Parade

Juniper Berry featured in Maspeth Memorial Day Parade

JPCA President Tony Nunziato, who is also the proprietor of Enchanted Florist on Grand Avenue in Maspeth, decorated his antique 1954 model Chevy truck with flowers and the cover of the last edition of the Juniper Berry, which honored those who have served our country, for the Maspeth Memorial Day Parade on May 26. More about the parade can be found in "Berry Bits."

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Guide to the Democratic Candidates for Queens District Attorney

Guide to the Democratic Candidates for Queens District Attorney

Seven candidates are running in the very important June 25th Democratic Primary to replace late District Attorney Richard A. Brown. Here we present information about who they are and what they hope to accomplish. These biographies were taken directly from the candidates' campaign pages.

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Sing for Hope comes to Juniper Valley Park

Sing for Hope comes to Juniper Valley Park

Sing for Hope is a program that places artist-designed pianos throughout NYC's parks and public spaces for anyone and everyone to play.

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SOCIAL SECURITY HELPS PEOPLE LIKE YOU

SOCIAL SECURITY HELPS PEOPLE LIKE YOU

Part of what makes our nation unique is our diversity. Social Security touches the lives of nearly all Americans; so, we're accustomed to serving a diverse population.

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An Important Piece of Real Estate

An Important Piece of Real Estate

As a youngster growing up in Middle Village during the 1930's one of the most important pieces of real estate in the community was situated at the corner of 68th Avenue and 78th Street, opposite Dave Leblang's drug store. It was not a youth center. It was not a medical facility. It was not a mall; indeed, it had no stores.

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Things That Are Dumb: Not-ready for prime-time mayor now wants to be president

Things That Are Dumb: Not-ready for prime-time mayor now wants to be president

This may be the all-time dumbest thing featured in this column, which is saying a lot: Mayor Bill de Blasio, the bumbling, accidental leader of this city, has thrown his hat into the presidential ring

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The Middle Village Pizza Challenge

The Middle Village Pizza Challenge

Middle Villagers, lucky enough to have a variety of pizza options, naturally tend to gravitate toward a favorite neighborhood pizzeria. I grew up in NJ, then resided for some time in Phoenix and have lived in Ridgewood for the past 5 years, so I was not at all familiar with Middle Village pizza until I decided to write this article.

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The Ways of Maspeth

The Ways of Maspeth

When James Way came to America seeking religious freedom, he decided to settle in Newtown. Along with 51 other Quaker families, he participated in the Newtown Indian Purchase of 1656 where, for two shillings, he purchased two acres of land.

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Yesterday & Today: Woodhaven Blvd at Myrtle Ave, 1952

Yesterday & Today: Woodhaven Blvd at Myrtle Ave, 1952

The small commercial strip adjacent to Forest Park along Woodhaven Blvd at Myrtle Ave was even smaller in 1952 than it is now. Back then, it consisted of only the Park Terrace Restaurant, a luncheonette, and a Texaco service station.

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Killy's Korner 6-2019

Killy's Korner 6-2019

Well I'm looking forward to a beautiful summer after all the rain we experienced in April and May. We certainly kicked things off right with a glorious Memorial Day weekend. There's a lot to report, so here we go.

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