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

December 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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Yesterday and Today: The Kosciuszko Bridge

Yesterday and Today: The Kosciuszko Bridge

This scene shows the Kosciuszko Bridge from Laurel Hill Blvd in 1940 and in 2019.

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Happy New Year 2020!

Happy New Year 2020!

We're heading into the year 2020! The first 2 digits of a year matching the second two digits only comes once in a century, therefore being alive in this year is special.

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Berry Bits: Katz elected Queens District Attorney

Berry Bits: Katz elected Queens District Attorney

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz has won the general election for District Attorney. We wish all the best for the incoming DA and hope to work as closely with her as we did her predecessors.

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Berry Bits: New Police Commissioner named

Berry Bits: New Police Commissioner named

Former Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea took over as Police Commissioner on December 1 after James O'Neill stepped down from the position to take a job in the private sector.

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Berry Bits: Queens Vietnam Veterans Memorial opens December 20

Berry Bits: Queens Vietnam Veterans Memorial opens December 20

The Queens Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which will bear the names of all service members from the Borough of Queens killed in action, will be formally dedicated on Friday, December 20, 2019 at a 10am ceremony at Elmhurst Park.

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Berry Bits: Cooper Ave shelter rejected by CB5; Coalition files 2 lawsuits

Berry Bits: Cooper Ave shelter rejected by CB5; Coalition files 2 lawsuits

CB5 voted 34-0 on Oct. 16 to reject the City's proposed plan for a 200-men shelter at 78-16 and instead suggested smaller shelter sites with capacity for 20-25 residents.

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Berry Bits: Land Use ballot proposal passed

Berry Bits: Land Use ballot proposal passed

Those who headed to the polls for this past November's election are aware that there were 5 ballot proposals on which to vote. Proposal #5 may have the biggest impact on the character of NYC communities.

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Berry Bits: Safer Kosciuszko approaches

Berry Bits: Safer Kosciuszko approaches

Comptroller Scott Stringer this summer criticized the lack of bike and pedestrian safety measures near the approaches to the Kosciuszko Bridge.

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Berry Bits: Something to celebrate

Berry Bits: Something to celebrate

The NYC Parks Department announced in October that the Asian Long-horned beetle had been eradicated from the City.

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Berry Bits: Grand Street Bridge surveying

Berry Bits: Grand Street Bridge surveying

A topographical survey was completed in September for the Grand Street Bridge spanning Newtown Creek.

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Berry Bits: London Lennie's staying put

Berry Bits: London Lennie's staying put

In an open letter to the community on the restaurant's Facebook page, London Lennie's owner Les Barnes penned the following.

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Berry Bits: MTA improving accessibility at local subway stations

Berry Bits: MTA improving accessibility at local subway stations

The recently passed MTA budget includes $5.2 billion to make 70 subway stations easier for those with disabilities to use.

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Berry Bits: Street renaming for Sciulli

Berry Bits: Street renaming for Sciulli

Please join us on Tuesday, December 17 at 10 a.m. at the corner of 77th Street and 62nd Avenue as we celebrate her life and honor her legacy by co-naming the street "Lorraine Sciulli Way."

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Berry Bits: Maspeth sewer project underway

Berry Bits: Maspeth sewer project underway

Maspeth is currently undergoing a $101 million sewer project which started in September and will continue through August 2023.

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Berry Bits: Bus lane camera tickets

Berry Bits: Bus lane camera tickets

The DOT announced that it will begin issuing bus lane camera violations along the Q58 bus route after a 60-day warning period which expired December 7.

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Berry Bits: Middle Village Library under renovation

Berry Bits: Middle Village Library under renovation

The Middle Village Library closed November 8 and will not reopen until February 2020.

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Berry Bits: Jamaica Bay deserves protection

Berry Bits: Jamaica Bay deserves protection

The "Jamaica Bay bill" would protect the bay from the dumping of harmful contaminants into its deep sections. The bill is awaiting the governor's signature but if he does not call it up by December 31st it will die.

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Washington Irving's contributions to Christmas

Washington Irving's contributions to Christmas

Washington Irving is best known as the author of short stories such as The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. But not many realize that he was also the progenitor of our modern-day Santa Claus and introduced many Christmas traditions to America.

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FDNY Captain Brian P. Gill 2019 Recipient of JPCA Hero Award

FDNY Captain Brian P. Gill 2019 Recipient of JPCA Hero Award

At JPCA's September general membership meeting, President Tony Nunziato and First VP and retired FDNY member John Killcommons presented FDNY Captain Brian P. Gill, a Middle Village resident assigned to Ladder Company 47 in the Bronx, with our Hero Award.

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Message from the President, December 2019

Message from the President, December 2019

Although we are always battling to keep our quality of life intact, this is the time of year when we slow down a bit and enjoy all that the season has to offer.

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Timing and Talent Sent Local Student to the Big Leagues

Timing and Talent Sent Local Student to the Big Leagues

As a technology teacher and amateur historian, I volunteered to write the history of both schools for PS229's 50th Anniversary journal. In order to personalize the story, I started contacting former students from both schools via Facebook. Enter Marty Appel.

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Things That Are Dumb: Criminal-coddling cuckoos

Things That Are Dumb: Criminal-coddling cuckoos

It may come as a surprise that there are more than 400 offenses, which include felonious acts such as criminally negligent homicide, aggravated assault on a child under 11 and selling drugs on or near school grounds, for which a judge will no longer be allowed to set bail or remand a defendant to custody come January 1.

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Things That Are Dumb: Ferry pricey!

Things That Are Dumb: Ferry pricey!

The implementation of subsidized ferry service provided a convenient way for people who live near the water to get to work.

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Things That Are Dumb: The return of the absentee mayor

Things That Are Dumb: The return of the absentee mayor

The Big Apple's Big Bird has come home to roost! Mayor de Blasio announced that he was ending his fledgling presidential campaign in September after only 4 months.

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Things That Are Dumb: Homeless shelter hearing havoc

Things That Are Dumb: Homeless shelter hearing havoc

On October 7, Community Board 5 hosted a hearing at Christ the King Auditorium that quickly descended into chaos. The embarrassing spectacle was broadcast live and remains viewable on YouTube.

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Things That Are Dumb: Drug store trashed by high school students

Things That Are Dumb: Drug store trashed by high school students

This past September 26, roughly 50 students from Metropolitan Campus High School trashed a CVS at 97-15 Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills.

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Things That Are Dumb: CFB confuses voters

Things That Are Dumb: CFB confuses voters

The campaign finance board publishes an annual voter guide that is mailed to voters prior to Election Day. This year, voters received the guide in late October for the November 5 election.

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Things That Are Dumb: 3 rails studies that will go nowhere

Things That Are Dumb: 3 rails studies that will go nowhere

There currently are 3 proposals for rail line reactivation in our area. The first would reactivate the Lower Montauk line between LIC and Jamaica for passenger service.

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Things That Are Dumb: Hardhats required

Things That Are Dumb: Hardhats required

Maybe before the MTA sinks millions into studies for new rail lines, it should focus its energy on making its present infrastructure safe.

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Things That Are Dumb: Rikers update

Things That Are Dumb: Rikers update

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are aware that the City Council passed the Mayor's Rikers Island closure plan.

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Things That Are Dumb: Abysmal turnout for early voting

Things That Are Dumb: Abysmal turnout for early voting

After political declarations that early voting would bring our elections into the 21st Century and allow more people to vote, boosting turnout, the sad reality is that only 1.14% of voters took advantage of it this past election cycle.

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Things That Are Dumb: Stolen scooter recovered, thief on the loose

Things That Are Dumb: Stolen scooter recovered, thief on the loose

CBS posted a video on their website the morning of November 5th which showed a man in a very conspicuous green and black jacket climbing the steps of a home on Juniper Blvd South near 69th Street and stealing a child's scooter from the landing.

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Things That Are Dumb: Loco locomotive procurement process

Things That Are Dumb: Loco locomotive procurement process

All the community wanted was to gather the political will and funding together to replace the old, high-polluting locomotives with the cleanest new locomotives.

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Things That Are Dumb: Groovy in a bad way

Things That Are Dumb: Groovy in a bad way

Large ruts exist in the sidewalk in one of the busiest corners of Maspeth. Not only is it near a shopping mall, but also Maspeth High School and a bus stop.

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Letters to the Editor 12-2019

Letters to the Editor 12-2019

I would like to draw your attention to an 85-year young lady who volunteers as a gardener in Juniper Valley Park at the two corners to the entrance of the park, one on Dry Harbor Road, the other on Juniper Blvd North, also around the flag.

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The Graffiti Avengers strike again!

The Graffiti Avengers strike again!

Graffiti doesn't stay around long when The Duo, aka Peter Sofio and Richie Polgar, take action.

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Who is running for Queens Borough President?

Who is running for Queens Borough President?

Borough President Melinda Katz will be assuming the role of District Attorney come January 1. Shortly thereafter, the mayor will announce a special election, which will likely take place in March 2020.

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Social Security Column: It's a perfect time to plan for your future

Social Security Column: It's a perfect time to plan for your future

Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Queens, NY There's no better time than right now to begin to save for your future.

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Things I remember about old Middle Village

Things I remember about old Middle Village

When Middle Village had no supermarkets and if you needed groceries you went to Bluestein's, Markman's, Pessel's or Buckstein's.

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Amazing Stories 12-2019

Amazing Stories 12-2019

Middle Village lost another one of its fast disappearing links connecting it with the past as a community of farms and fruit orchards when an old cherry tree that has stood on the corner of 70th street and 67th road for more than 50 years was cut down by order of the Parks Department last week.

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Poinsettias: Fact and Fiction

Poinsettias: Fact and Fiction

This time of year, everything is red and green for the holidays. And no houseplant is identified more with the season than the poinsettia.

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Snake Hill in the Snow

Snake Hill in the Snow

I grabbed my trusty Flexible Flyer sled and joined my friends walking from Mazeau Street to the summit on 72nd Street. We felt like birds flying south or salmon swimming upstream, but really were just noisy, loud, obnoxious kids unstoppable in our quest to reach Snake Hill.

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Centerfold photos: Frank Caudo

Centerfold photos: Frank Caudo

Frank Caudo is a local professional photographer. One winter, he took some very artistic landscape photos of our beloved Juniper Valley Park. Here we present a selection of the snowy scenes.

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The transformation of PS58's schoolyard

The transformation of PS58's schoolyard

During summer break, the schoolyard at PS58 had a makeover. All the cement was dug up, trees were planted, and tables and benches were installed.

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We Can Do Better On Homelessness

We Can Do Better On Homelessness

A message for voters: If there's one reason not to support Mayor de Blasio, it's because of how terribly he's handled NYC's homeless crisis. Since he became mayor in 2014, the homeless shelter population has increased by an average of 10% per year while spending on homelessness has doubled within the same period.

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Burger City: It's on the Way Home

Burger City: It's on the Way Home

Three friends of 50 years came back to their old neighborhood and discovered the community needed a classic and simple "burger joint." Originally hailing from Stockholm Street, Dominic Roggio, Anthony Moschitta and Frank Barbarino have opened Burger City in Ridgewood.

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FDNY rescues park flags

FDNY rescues park flags

The flags flying at local parks and triangles continue to be monitored under the watchful eye of JPCA President Tony Nunziato.

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Little Free Library installed at Juniper Valley Park

Little Free Library installed at Juniper Valley Park

After receiving an inquiry from neighborhood resident Matt Lebris, JPCA collaborated with Newtown Historical Society, the Juniper Valley Park Conservancy and the NYC Parks Department to procure and install a Little Free Library at Juniper Valley Park.

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Maspeth Mom's Triple Tragedy

Maspeth Mom's Triple Tragedy

Saturlina Grabowski of 56-02 61st Street in Maspeth was a tough Depression-era survivor. The twice-widowed immigrant mother of 7 children saw her family's home relief get cut off, and her application for a widowed mother's pension get denied.

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Welcome back, Fr. Peter!

Welcome back, Fr. Peter!

Fr. Peter Purpura's resume is quite impressive with much accomplishment for his young years. He was born on August 1, 1981 to Catherine and Peter Purpura and he is the fifth child in a family of seven children.

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Held Hostage

Held Hostage

Imagine you are building a new home, constructing a new business or restoring your home subsequent to a catastrophic loss like a hurricane. As the project is nearing completion your application for natural gas service is denied, and preventing your ability to beneficially occupy the capital resource you have invested in. How could this even be possible?

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Old Newtown Cemetery Deserves Proper Recognition

Old Newtown Cemetery Deserves Proper Recognition

Newtown Playground, located at 92nd Street and 56th Avenue, has recently undergone a major design overhaul. This familiar park, across from Newtown field, on the opposite corner of Cathedral Prep High School, was for a long time the site of Old Newtown Cemetery, a burial ground dating from the late 17th century for some of the area's most well-known and influential settler families.

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The Jamaica Savings Bank Building: To Landmark Once Again?

The Jamaica Savings Bank Building: To Landmark Once Again?

A new effort is underway to push for land-marking status of what is known as the 'Jamaica Savings Bank' building.

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Meet the Author: John Roumas

Meet the Author: John Roumas

John Roumas has been a Queens resident since 1968. A graduate of Brooklyn Tech, Parsons School of Design, and New York University, he continually received inspiration and encouragement about his writing from his teachers and professors.

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104th Precinct Report 12-2019

104th Precinct Report 12-2019

I hope everyone has had a pleasant fall and is easing into the colder weather. As we enter into the holiday season, the men and women of the 104th will proudly be out there every day.

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Ricco's Recipes 12-2019

Ricco's Recipes 12-2019

Happy holidays to all. Here are some hearty recipes I have put together for you to make towards the end of Fall and all through Winter. Bon appetit!

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Berry Book Review: The Lost Night

Berry Book Review: The Lost Night

The Lost Night is Andrea Bartz's debut novel and a strong start, though not without a few small missteps along the way.

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The Mother Cabrini Conundrum

The Mother Cabrini Conundrum

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini was born on July 15, 1850 in a small town outside of Milan, Italy. She was inspired by stories of missionaries to travel the world, spreading the word of God.

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Killy's Korner 12-2019

Killy's Korner 12-2019

Well, here we are at the end of another year of reporting in the Juniper Berry as we look forward to a new decade. 2020! I take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Healthy, Happy New Year!

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Berry Game Review: Pokemon Sword and Shield

Berry Game Review: Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon is one of those franchises which will never go away, not without Game Freak and The Pokemon Company doing serious and repeated harm to the series.

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Protect your pipes

Protect your pipes

When water freezes, it expands. That's why a can of soda explodes if it's put into a freezer to chill quickly and forgotten. When water freezes in a pipe, it expands the same way. If it expands enough, the pipe bursts, water escapes and serious damage results.

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Neighborhood Hall of Shame 12-2019

Neighborhood Hall of Shame 12-2019

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.

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Remember When

Remember When

Remember when the television networks would sign off the air for the evening, playing the National Anthem? An American flag dominated the screen waving over spacious skies, majestic mountains, and golden fields of grains?

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