March 2020 Juniper Berry Magazine - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.
March Juniper Berry Magazine

March 2020 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: 69th Place looking south at Grand Avenue, 1920

Yesterday & Today: 69th Place looking south at Grand Avenue, 1920

One hundred years ago, the landscape of Firth Avenue in Maspeth was relatively new. The Firth family, after which the street had been named, had settled here and are profiled in this edition.

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La Bella Torte caters to Vietnam Veterans

La Bella Torte caters to Vietnam Veterans

The La Bella Torte food truck catered to attendees at the Queens Vietnam Veterans Memorial dedication on December 20, 2019.

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Berry Bits: Cooper Ave shelter opens unexpectedlty

Berry Bits: Cooper Ave shelter opens unexpectedlty

The following statement was made by Council Member Holden on February 14: "My office was informed that eight men had moved into 78-16 Cooper Avenue, despite no contract yet signed nor the property having a certificate of occupancy."

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Berry Bits: Amazon will rent out the Metro Mall

Berry Bits: Amazon will rent out the Metro Mall

It was reported by several news outlets in late February that Amazon will be renting all of the empty space – roughly 300,000 square feet – bringing the mall to full occupancy.

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Berry Bits: Three groups sue to stop Manhattan, Bronx and Queens jails

Berry Bits: Three groups sue to stop Manhattan, Bronx and Queens jails

Three individual lawsuits have been filed against the City's plan to close the Rikers Island correctional complex and replace it with smaller jails in Queens, Bronx and Manhattan neighborhoods.

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Berry Bits: Another option for American flag disposal

Berry Bits: Another option for American flag disposal

The overwhelming success of their first collection box led to Newtown Historical Society and Juniper Park Civic Association teaming up again to acquire and assemble a second flag collection box which Cross County Savings Bank has graciously offered to host at its branch located at 79-21 Metropolitan Avenue.

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Berry Bits: Long anticipated mall opening soon at Metro Mall

Berry Bits: Long anticipated mall opening soon at Metro Mall

Fitnation is scheduled to soon open in the lower level of the Metro Mall and promises "the luxury of boutique fitness under one roof."

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Berry Bits: Property tax overhaul in the works

Berry Bits: Property tax overhaul in the works

The Wall Street Journal reports that a commission has determined the proper way to overhaul the City's property tax assessment process.

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Berry Bits: Early voting for Queens BP special election

Berry Bits: Early voting for Queens BP special election

If you wish to vote early, you may do so by heading to the Board of Elections Office at the Metro Mall between March 14 and March 22 (park on the roof and take elevator or enter at ground level through loading dock in front of the building).

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A Message from the President 3-2020

A Message from the President 3-2020

Well, despite the prediction of the Farmer's Almanac that we would get walloped with cold air and layer upon layer of snow, it turned out that this winter wasn't bad at all.

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Remembering Our Unsung Heroes From The Vietnam War

Remembering Our Unsung Heroes From The Vietnam War

The following is an excerpt from my manuscript, "My Cemetery Friends: A Garden of Encounters at Mount Saint Mary in Queens, New York," which pays homage to all the young men from Corona, Queens, who fought and died in that conflict.

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Protecting Our Waterways

Protecting Our Waterways

On the north shore of central Queens, the East River's water enters Flushing Bay and Creek and up until the 1920s the surrounding land was a wetland

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Things That Are Dumb: Three violent incidents in Maspeth parking lot

Things That Are Dumb: Three violent incidents in Maspeth parking lot

With a brawl, 3 stabbings, and a vehicular assault since late December, a parking lot off Maurice Ave has become a magnet for violence and a very familiar destination for the NYPD.

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Things That Are Dumb: Headed in the wrong direction

Things That Are Dumb: Headed in the wrong direction

Council Member Holden asked the DOT to conduct a study for a proposed left-turn-only lane from northbound 80th onto Metropolitan Avenue. Instead, a right turn lane was installed.

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Things That Are Dumb: Majority of City Council wants to give noncitizens the right to vote

Things That Are Dumb: Majority of City Council wants to give noncitizens the right to vote

A bill that would expand voting rights to some immigrants who are not US citizens was introduced in late January in the City Council and already has dozens of sponsors.

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Things That Are Dumb: De Blasio wants to pack 'em in

Things That Are Dumb: De Blasio wants to pack 'em in

The de Blasio administration has revealed grand plans to tweak the City's zoning code to sanction more apartments in basements, on top of garages and in backyard "sheds" in an effort to increase affordable units.

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Things That Are Dumb: Bedbug shuts down subway during rush hour

Things That Are Dumb: Bedbug shuts down subway during rush hour

The evening of January 22, every Queens Boulevard subway line came to a standstill after a bedbug was spotted at a control tower at 71st-Continental Avenues.

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Things That Are Dumb: The never-ending CSX mess

Things That Are Dumb: The never-ending CSX mess

For many years, garbage has littered the CSX tracks through our area. Complaints have come from local residents with no response from the railroad.

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Things That Are Dumb: He doth protest too much, wethinks

Things That Are Dumb: He doth protest too much, wethinks

At COMET's February meeting, when Capt. Michael Gibbs (right), Commanding Officer of the 108 Pct (former Executive Officer of the 104th Pct), said bail reform is a problem and that attendees should contact their state representatives to fix it, Sebastian Maguire, legislative director for Council Member Danny Dromm, took great umbrage with it, claiming that NYPD personnel are not allowed to "lobby while in uniform."

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Letters to the Editor 3-2020

Letters to the Editor 3-2020

Please see the attached Public Service Announcement from the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. Brianna's Law was passed last year after many years in the making. The law was named after a child tragically killed in a boating accident involving inexperienced boaters.

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Juniper Valley Area ‒ The New Transportation Desert!

Juniper Valley Area ‒ The New Transportation Desert!

The MTA recently released a plan to change the whole Queens bus network. The goal was to speed up service by putting buses on wider streets, having them make fewer turns, eliminating some stops, and shortening some routes.

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Straight, Square and Smooth

Straight, Square and Smooth

I first entered P.S. 87 shop teacher, Mr. Quinn's class in the seventh grade together with Sam Teicher and with Quinn's son whose first name I don't recall.

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Who's Running For Queens Borough President?

Who's Running For Queens Borough President?

Since our last issue, some candidates have either dropped out or failed to make the ballot. Others have recently thrown their hats into the ring. Currently running are: Elizabeth Crowley, Costa Constantinides and Donovan Richards – profiled in our last issue – and the following candidates.

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Friends of the Maspeth Library

Friends of the Maspeth Library

The Friends of the Maspeth Library is a volunteer-based 501c3 nonprofit through the Queens Public Library, working to support our local Maspeth Library. The Friends provide programs, classes, and events for the youth, adults, seniors and families in the community.

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Historic Marker Dedicated to DeWitt Clinton Home Installed in Maspeth

Historic Marker Dedicated to DeWitt Clinton Home Installed in Maspeth

The Newtown Historical Society's 2-year mission to replace a long-lost roadside historic marker that notes the former location of the mansion of Governor DeWitt Clinton, the "Father of the Erie Canal," was finally accomplished in December.

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History of the DeWitt Clinton House

History of the DeWitt Clinton House

The DeWitt Clinton House Historic Marker, located at the parklet triangle at Maspeth Avenue and 56th Terrace in Maspeth, is a welcome recognition (and replacement of the long-vanished previous sign at the same location) of both DeWitt Clinton and the site of the former house several hundred feet to the north which he owned from 1807 to his untimely death in 1828.

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MA KIN: You Don't Need to Fly to Thailand for Authentic Thai Food

MA KIN: You Don't Need to Fly to Thailand for Authentic Thai Food

Seeing the need for a 100% authentic Thai cuisine establishment, Jina (Jiraporn) Tisopa has opened MA KIN at 74-19 Metropolitan Ave in Middle Village. Together with Chef Oak (Dhanapol Marprasert), Jina hopes to both introduce as well as satisfy those in the community with a taste for Thai culinary delights.

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Plans for Tony's Pizza to return to Metropolitan Avenue

Plans for Tony's Pizza to return to Metropolitan Avenue

Metropolitan Avenue has been home to many storefronts over the years, but no pizzeria in Forest Hills has been able to fill the shoes of Tony's.

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This was supposed to be an obituary

This was supposed to be an obituary

What if you went to a funeral but the corpse didn't show up? That's what it was like on January 10 at 190-year old Neir's Tavern, which rose triumphantly from its death bed to become the toast of the town.

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Thanks to our Holiday Party & Raffle Donors!

Thanks to our Holiday Party & Raffle Donors!

Our holiday party last December certainly was a lot of fun for all involved. Thirty merchants and individuals contributed 63 prizes. A list of the contributors and their donated items is here.

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In Honor of Those Who Fell in Vietnam

In Honor of Those Who Fell in Vietnam

In 2006, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 32 President Pat Toro had an epiphany. He had traveled all over the borough visiting different war memorials. He realized that there wasn't one specific Vietnam Veterans War memorial for all of Queens; one that would encompass the whole borough.

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Centerfold photos: Richard Murillo

Centerfold photos: 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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JC Landscaping and Design

JC Landscaping and Design

Winner of QNS' "Best of the Boro" award 4 years in a row, owned by Middle Village native Joe Cucchiara, JC Landscaping & Design has worked hard to become a staple in our local community since 2002.

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A brief history of Berger Industries

A brief history of Berger Industries

Berger Industries, Inc. was founded in 1919. A 1945 directory listed the company as the Berger Machine Company. The business manufactured radios and radio parts.

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The Musical Legacy of Maspeth's Firth Family

The Musical Legacy of Maspeth's Firth Family

In 2011, the Juniper Berry reprinted Barbara Stankowski's 1976 interview of local resident Mary Micari. Mary had provided vivid details of the Maspeth she remembered growing up.

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The absurdity of New York's bail reform

The absurdity of New York's bail reform

When asked to write an op-ed on the recent bail reform measures, realized as an addendum to budget bill A02009C under circumstances less than desirable for proper civic discourse and public review, I had admittedly already formed an opinion on the topic based on the dubious approach to implementation.

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104th Precinct Report 3-2020

104th Precinct Report 3-2020

Our job as police officers is to keep you safe and I assure you the men and women of the 104th Precinct are proud to do that every day. With that being said, I wanted to share with you some safety tips in order to protect yourself and your family from become victims of a crime.

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Berry Book Review: The Woman in the Window

Berry Book Review: The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn starts as a variance of Rear Window, the Hitchcock classic, but turns into so much more by the time you're through. It follows Anna Fox, former psychologist, who has since been separated from her husband and daughter.

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Berry Game Review: No Man's Sky

Berry Game Review: No Man's Sky

After my time with No Man's Sky I am still unsure of whether or not I like it. It's not a new game, first coming out in 2016. Over time the game has been patched and had new features which were not present in the initial release.

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Social Security Launches New Campaign to Fight Scammers

Social Security Launches New Campaign to Fight Scammers

The Social Security Administration launched a new Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign to continue warning people about the ongoing nationwide telephone impersonation scheme. The PSAs feature a message from Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul.

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Get Your Social Security Benefit Statement

Get Your Social Security Benefit Statement

Tax season is approaching, and we have made replacing your annual Benefit Statement even easier. The Benefit Statement, also known as the SSA-1099 or the SSA-1042S, is a tax form we mail each year in January to people who receive Social Security benefits. It shows the total amount of benefits you received from us in the previous year, so you know how much Social Security income to report to the IRS on your tax return.

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How You Can Help END Puppy Mills

How You Can Help END Puppy Mills

We all love our furry little friends. They get so excited when we come home to them. Wagging tails and wet kisses are the best, aren't they?

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New York's Plastic Bag Ban

New York's Plastic Bag Ban

On March 1, 2020, with a few exceptions, single use plastic carry-out bags became illegal throughout New York State. In NYC, a five-cent fee is now charged if you want a paper bag. Three cents goes to the NY state environmental protection fund and 2 cents goes to NYC to be used to purchase and distribute free disposable bags.

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Memories of PS102

Memories of PS102

I started first grade at PS102 on Van Horn St. in Elmhurst in 1955. My father was disappointed that I wasn't going to his Alma Mater, PS72 in Maspeth, but that year school district lines were changed.

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The Monument Men of Middle Village

The Monument Men of Middle Village

Close your eyes, let your mind's eye travel back one hundred seventy-five years and try to envision our current city in 1845. James Polk had just been inaugurated president of the United States which at that time consisted of 27 entities with the recent addition of Florida.

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Ricco's Recipes 3-2020

Ricco's Recipes 3-2020

This recipe is a Lenten favorite; as a boy I have such fond memories of all the different creative dishes we ate at our own house not to mention the houses of friends and family! Lent is such a special time of year and as we prepare for Easter here is one of the greatest of all-time peasant food recipes, Pope & Bishop approved with my extra-caloric spin! I hope you enjoy it as much my family and I do!

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She Loves Me. She Loves Me Not.

She Loves Me. She Loves Me Not.

It was a sunny spring day in Maspeth, Queens which seemed just like any other sunny spring day to a 7-year old kid. Little did I realize that it would be the day that innocent, carefree, fun loving child started down a slippery slope into an unsympathetic wall of heartbreak ‒ one that would last for 56 years.

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Killy's Korner 3-2020

Killy's Korner 3-2020

Well it looks like we got through another winter that wasn't so bad and we have Spring around the corner. We're lucky that we won't have much thawing out to do. I have quite a few things to tell you about, so let's get to it.

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Neighborhood Hall of Shame 3-2020

Neighborhood Hall of Shame 3-2020

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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