Letters to the Editor - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the March 2017 Juniper Berry Magazine

Letters to the Editor

A book of interest by a fellow New Yorker

Although I've written sixteen math and economics books, no one would publish my short story collection. Whether it was my thick Brooklyn accent, or perhaps because my name has never appeared in the same sentence with the words, "literary fiction," it took me several years to find a publisher. Maybe the editors at Martin Sisters Publishing (located in Kentucky) thought I spoke and wrote in the King's English (Get it? Brooklyn, King's County?).

I think you will enjoy To the City, with Love. Most of the stories take place in "the City", while the rest are set in the outer boroughs. In one story, an old James Madison High School classmate helps Bernie Sanders get elected president. In another, a New York Knicks star announces that he will play his last game in Madison Square Garden stark naked. In a third, just before Christmas, a kindergarten class sets out to raise money for the homeless. The book is listed on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and on www.martinsisterspublishing.com.

Steve Slavin, Brooklyn

Concerned about hockey rink

I am writing because I am concerned about the Juniper Park hockey rink. As an avid hockey player and one of the many who uses the rink for the sport, I would like to ask what is being done to repair it and/or keep the rink in usable condition. Lately, as I have visited the rink I have noticed some of the boards have been replaced. But much is still left to repair. Such as the incredibly large puddle at center ice that is getting to be the size of a small pond. Many people use the rink for dog runs and tossing trash. Many times I have visited the rink and saw broken bottles, paper, food wrappers etc. Too much of the time that I am there is used throwing out garbage that was on the rink, rather than playing. The worst part of it is that the rink was originally dedicated in honor of a fallen Firefighter named Chris Bohan. Keeping the rink in such a horrible condition is a huge disgrace to his legacy and the Parks Department does nothing to try and fix it.


Jared Ducey, Middle Village

Sincere thanks

Dear Bob,

I wish to take this opportunity to wish you and your staff a very Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year. In doing so, I wish to extend my extreme thanks for the Juniper Berry which I believe is an excellent magazine. I am impressed with the writing, the excellent layouts and the way each publication helps us remember the past history of Maspeth and Middle Village with lovely photos and stories. I admire your staff for their candidness on major issues which affect our area and beyond. It takes courage to speak out even when the facts are clear. Also, I am honored that your organization has chosen space here at Our Lady of Hope for your Executive and Town Hall meetings. You are always welcome. Again, many thanks for all you do and I look forward to the many wonderful history, news, reports and issues which you will present in 2017. Wishing you all the best, I am yours truly,

Very Reverend Michael A. Carrano

Pastor, Our Lady of Hope RC Church, Middle Village

Roofing scammer outwitted

Dear Mr. Holden,

Thank you so much for helping me getting the $2000 back that was paid to C. Johnston, roofer. Without your help, concern and phone calls the return of this money would never have happened. Thank you again and God bless you.


Grace Sweeney, Middle Village

PS enclosed please find two business cards prices on the back.

An unsavory blast from the past

I don't know how many people remember the playground on Dry Harbor Road and how vandalized it was before they took it down and re-designed the park! This photo is for your records.

Kathy O'Connor, Middle Village

Faith Presbyterian Church Centennial

On Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 11 AM, members, former members and guests came together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Faith Presbyterian Church, located on 72nd Pl. off Grand Avenue in Maspeth. This was a time to remember past events, to recall experiences and to reminisce. The church, formerly Calvary Presbyterian Church, was organized in 1914 with a small group of people who opened the Sunday school for Maspeth children in the Stammer home. The group grew and adult classes were added. During the summer of 1914 and 1915, meetings were conducted in a tent on the property donated by Cornelia Brinkerhoff. Ground was broken on June 11, 1916 and the portable building was erected. Reverend Henry Stammer became the first pastor of the newly formed Calvary Presbyterian Church. After two years, the present building was built. Several years later, the Calvary congregation merged with a Korean congregation, and the church's name was changed to Faith Presbyterian Church. This is one church with two congregations. Sunday English services are at 9 AM and the Korean service is at 11 AM. For more information call 718‒426‒5222.

Virginia Fraser, Maspeth

Salvation Army needs to clean up its act

This is the store on Metropolitan Ave Taken for the morning of Dec 27, 2016. I've seen this often and it's an eyesore.

Barry Stockman, Middle Village

Saga of a broken mailbox

In the beginning of December I noticed the hinges getting loose on my local mailbox so as a community minded retiree with 38 years in the postal service I tried calling the Maspeth PO on four occasions and the phone only rang, rang and rang many times before I gave up. So I finally went the post office on Dec. 14 to tell them about the problem. The supervisor wasn't aware of the problem but took the info and I thought it would be fixed the next day at least. Well it wasn't fixed and I mentioned it to the letter carrier and she said that she reported and I showed the truck driver that makes the collections and he would report it. Finally on Dec.19 I called the USPS 800 number to report the problem and was connected to the inspection services because the mail could be stolen or tampered with. Well, still no one came to remove the broken box and no one tried to fix it and no one stopped people from putting their letter in the box, until I did. I put an out of order sign and taped it on the box. The sign was on two days and then finally on Dec.26 the door was fixed but what took so long and why at least wasn't the box closed until it was?

At the civic meetings I've attended lately all you hear from the Police is how mail is being fished out of mail boxes and people are stealing checks and removing names and stealing people's identity's and they are encouraging people to do all their check paying online. Well for those like me that don't like paying bills online they do recommend a gel pen because it is harder to remove the ink and I would recommend not putting mail into the collection boxes until the morning before the truck comes to collect the mail. There is more of a chance thieves work mostly at night.

A few months ago my mail was stolen and someone tried to cash my check but an alert bank clerk saw it and called me but I had to cancel my checking account and then get a new account and pay for all the bounced checks.This has also happened to a neighbor on my block so it's not an isolated incidence, it's happening all over the city and the Postal Service had better be more proactive fixing collection boxes and come up with a better design so mail can't be stolen.

Richard Polgar, Maspeth

Part 2. The mailbox hinge was broke again on 1/5 and again failing to get someone to answer the phone at the Maspeth PO I went there and they put a work order in to fix it, on 1/10 I called USPS 800 number and made a complaint and was told they would get back to me in 2-4 business days so which they never did so on 1/26 I called the 800 number again to complain.On 1/27 I figured I'd try calling Congresswoman Meng for help and they said they would try.Well on 2/2 the mailbox was fixed. I called the Congresswoman's office to thank them.

Why did it take so long to fix the mailbox and why didn't they put an official sign to keep people from putting their mail in it and making them wonder how safe it was.When I worked for the postal service safety and the sanctity of the mail was an utmost priority, what happened?

Need graffiti assistance

Dear Bob,

As per our conversation this morning about the graffiti on the side of my house, it now is light gray, when it rains it turns darker. It is on the concrete wall beside the light pole. I need it pressure washed, not painted. Any assistance you could give me on this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much. God bless.

Kathy Donadio, Middle Village

Confusing signs

To whom it may concern,

Something has to be done as soon as possible. There is a very dangerous area nearby – it starts on Eliot Avenue going towards 75th St. There is always a lot of traffic, especially for the school kids. When you're making the left turn, the sign hanging reads Lutheran Avenue. It's a two-way street which eventually goes to 71st St. towards 62nd St. All of a sudden on the right side there's a pole with the sign and guess what it reads? 71st St. That's where my address is and where I've lived for nine years. The pole is right in front of my house. Now if you would continue to stay on Eliot and made a left on 71st St. that's where the Our Lady of Hope Church and school is. While I was very ill in the past few years I had friends and company to visit me. They were from out of town and when the taxi took them to Middle Village they all seemed to land at Our Lady of Hope parking lot on 71st St. They would call me on the phone and I would direct them what to do. Incidentally on a bad day it's a really a long walk to get to my house from Our Lady of Hope. I suggest that they definitely put traffic lights and more signals beginning on 75th Street and explaining that 71st is straight ahead or may I suggest add to the Lutheran sign 71st Pl. ahead

Celia Carrano, Middle Village

Bus company creating a problem

Letter from early January:

A school bus company called "Bobby's Bus Co" is using the park as a staging area in the morning. They park all around the park but especially at the running track. The problem is that in the cold weather they leave their engines running. The people running and walking are forced to breathe bus exhaust instead of the fresh air they came for. Can something be done?


Bob McGee, Middle Village

January 9th follow up:

Mr. Holden,

There were a few school buses at the park this morning but they were not running their engines. If they were not idling when it's 16 degrees, they must have received the message. Please thank the Inspector and thanks for your help.

Bob McGee

Glendale Plaza project is a disaster

To whom it may concern,

The Glendale Plaza project started September 29, 2016 and it is still going on and it's January 13, 2017 and we are told it will end in August 2017.

In October 2016 on over seven occasions from 10 PM to 6 AM Michelle Perez would leave notices on businesses and homes explaining water would be shut off and that when water would be turned on we would have to run our water for at least 30 minutes to let the black mud water run until it's clear. How were businesses expected to operate with no water. Also that is a health violation and on those occasions they never turned water on until 6:45 AM.

After a few weeks of construction work being done from 10pm to 6 am business was only at a loss of 20%. And then this project got moved to 7 AM to 4 PM and that dramatically changed the way of life for this community.

Examples ‒ installed were no parking signs and construction from 72nd St. to 69th St. on Myrtle Avenue with five flag men directing traffic in the most unprofessional way and very disrespect full to the drivers, especially elderly drivers and women drivers with their kids in the car just trying to get their kids to school on time.

Traffic ‒ starts at Woodhaven Boulevard and Myrtle Avenue at a standstill (7am- 9am)

Cooper Avenue from Atlas Mall coming into Glendale is at a standstill (7am-9am )

Teachers, parents, children, are at an all-time high of the lateness at the neighboring schools, Redeemer, St Pancras and PS 91. This has been going on from November to January, this is unacceptable kids should never have to suffer.

Businesses from 72nd St. to 69th Pl. have lost over 50% of their business and have had to lay off some employees. They still are having a hard time staying in business.

There are no parking signs wire tied on trees from Triumph Construction Company. I am sure parks department and activists would not approve. Why was nothing ever done about this? I have reached out personally to as many agencies possible and explained how this is affecting my business and putting me out of business. I also explained how this has to be affecting the Glendale community in many ways.

I have not even begun to explain how the construction material is left all over Myrtle Avenue, bulldozers, cones, yellow tape, 10 foot wood planks etc. From 72nd St. to 69th Pl. on weekends, on holidays all the time it is impossible to park anywhere even if you want to go home.

Also the Department of Sanitation has not been able to clean the streets in over four months. It is and absolute pigsty, papers and garbage etc. all over Myrtle Avenue due to the construction being done at this time and the vehicles and material left all over Myrtle Ave.

This is a major health issue and it's washing into the sewers.

I would like to know the parties involved promoting this project in the Glendale Community.

I believe the people involved had good intentions of trying to do the right thing, but I believe they should be held responsible for not observing or surveying the best possible times and also how this would be done knowing it would affect the people in their community of Glendale.

Joseph Valvo, Owner of Glendale Bagels



As we discussed in December, I would appreciate any help that you can provide with the rat infestation that is plaguing are area south of the park. My address is on 71 Street. As we discussed, six of my neighbors have also verified that they are experiencing the same issue. I have contacted Elizabeth Crowley and Liz from the project coordinator's office. They have promised me that the area will be baited. Please let me know what else can be done.


Brian Kerrane, Middle Village

Fix Eliot and Caldwell

Letter sent to NYC DOT:

Happy New Year! I'm writing about concerns I have regarding a new change made to an intersection very near my home. A week or two ago, the intersection of Eliot Avenue, Caldwell Avenue, and 82nd Street was boxed off with posts that basically try to make right angles out of a diagonal, three-way intersection. I know the city is trying to make streets safer for drivers and pedestrians alike, as well as bicyclers. Unfortunately, l think much of what is being done is actually making things more hazardous.

In the case of this intersection, which I have diagrammed in the enclosure, the natural flow of traffic has become an obstacle course that narrows access. I can envision large vehicles struggling to maneuver to get onto Caldwell Avenue in the direction of 82nd Place, my street.

Some people get oil deliveries down the community drive. All of us rely on snow plows when there is snow. All of us also rely on deliveries, garbage removal, etc. The turn onto Caldwell is now very tight, even for Toyota Corollas, like my car, never mind massive trucks, and it is the ONLY way into this street.

In addition, I will mention that living on 82nd Place means being, figuratively speaking, an arm's stretch from Eliot Avenue, but because of the one-way streets, we must drive FIVE blocks to get to Eliot Avenue, which is our main thoroughfare to most anywhere we want to go. I am a pedestrian far more than I am a driver, so I am open to both perspectives, but I think anything that forces people to drive five blocks rather than half a block means five times more chance of an accident. For those of us who keep our cars in our garages in the community drive, we have only one way in and out of that driveway. We are far too susceptible to being blocked in, as did happen last year in the blizzard. The plows actually plowed us in and then got stuck, themselves. We NEED more access, not less. We NEED our small section of Caldwell Avenue from Eliot Avenue to 61st Road, just one block, to be two-way. We also NEED that new box at the intersection to be removed or, at the very least, we need just ONE post removed. I've highlighted the post in my diagram that should be removed.

There is precedent for making a small portion of Caldwell Avenue two-way. I've lived in this neighborhood since I was 1 year old; l'm now almost 64. When the streets were made one-way several years ago, that included the section of Caldwell Avenue by the Silver Barn, now Village Barn supermarket. Before long that section of Caldwell Avenue was restored to two-way, I'm sure because Silver Barn argued for access. That is exactly what we need on Caldwell Avenue between Eliot Avenue and 61st Road

We live here. We are not theoreticians making decisions based on computer analysis. We NEED access. We want safety. Squaring off a diagonal intersection, making it tight and difficult to maneuver reduces safety and reduces access.

Yet one more concern: bicycle lanes. Bicycle lanes narrow car lanes and force cars to hug the yellow lines, putting us in very close proximity to on-coming traffic. There is no way this can be safer than being able to drive in the center of the lane away from the yellow lines. Also, as a neighbor commented, all the lines and diagrams on the street for the bicycles are very distracting, another hazardous condition. For the very few bicycles we have using our streets, bicycle lanes are unnecessary, at the very least.

Finally, anyone who thinks all these changes are going to discourage people from driving are not living in the real world ofthe outer boroughs or U.S. culture. My car is almost 9 years old and has only 14,900 miles on it. I am not wedded to my car, but even l know there are times we need our cars, and people are not about to give them up because the city tries to make driving ever more difficult than it already is.

PLEASE stop making transportation more and more difficult and dangerous. PLEASE remove at least the corner post on the intersection of Caldwell Avenue, Eliot Avenue, and 82nd Street in Middle Village, Queens. PLEASE make Caldwell Avenue from Eliot Avenue to 61st Road two-way PLEASE remove the bicycle lanes on one and two-lane streets, like Eliot Avenue.


Rosemarie Pace, Middle Village

Underpass bike lane suggestion

The sewer work and the bicycle lanes on 80th Street are causing daily traffic jams at the intersection of 57th Avenue and 80th Street. While there isn't much that can be done about the sewer work at the moment, the bike lanes are another matter. I suggest that the bike lanes be put on the sidewalks on 80th Street from Queens Midtown Expressway to 57th Avenue, similar to the way the bike lanes are on the sidewalk where Central Avenue runs under the freight tracks in Glendale. The logic being that the sidewalks on that stretch of 80th Street get very little pedestrian traffic and can afford to lose four feet whereas this stretch of roadway on 80th Street gets a lot of vehicular traffic and needs every foot of asphalt it can get. This would be inexpensive, we could keep the bike lanes that the D.O.T. wants so much and we'd have a lot less congestion at 57th Avenue and 80th Street.

Paul Hogan, Middle Village

Fix Juniper Valley Park problems

Juniper Park has become a haven for irresponsible people doing whatever suits them, regardless of how dangerous it may be to others. Firstly, the off-leash dog dangers are out of the park. There are many irresponsible dog owners who walk their dog without a leash during inappropriate hours and areas, and/or who aren't paying attention to their off-leash dog. Some dog owners don't pick up after their dogs. This poses serious dangers to other people, and other dogs. Secondly, there are many people doing other things in the park that I understand are illegal, and which pose threats to others. People are using segways/hover boards, motorized bicycles, children's motorized cars, radio-controlled toys, and operating drones. There are bicyclists on the walking paths, etc., some popping wheelies and many of them don't even yield to pedestrians. (Actually, NYC Park rules on the Parks website state that No bicycle shall be ridden or otherwise operated in or on any pedestrian way, park path, sitting or play area, or playground and that bicycles may be ridden and operated on park roads, bike paths, and other areas specifically designated by the Commissioner. There do not appear to be any roads or bike paths or other areas specifically designated for bicyclists in Juniper Park; therefore, it seems that bicycle riding is against the rules of the park, too.)

The City needs to do much more to enforce the rules/laws of the park so that people who are doing the right thing can enjoy the park.

Josephine Campiglia, Middle Village

Whose side is Crowley on?

You may have heard something of this a while back but I am the horse whose mouth it came from. Shortly after the City had the Forest Park Overlook meeting when Crowley was told to expect more shelters in the area (old convent at OLMM) I ran into Crowley on the street in Glendale. I questioned her as to what she learned at the meeting. After she asked if I work for the Parks Department, I responded "no" and that I was thinking more in terms of the Cooper Ave shelter. She said that the Cooper Ave shelter was still going forward. I then said to her that she "better come up with something soon this is costing me money". When she asked what I meant I explained that I was a supporter of the Glendale-Middle Village Coalition. Crowley then said to me, "Are you SURE that's where the money is going?" After I reassured her of my trust in the Coalition she then asked me my name as if she was a drill instructor who was going to put me on report and then dismissed me with a "have a nice day". Why would anyone against the Cooper Ave shelter challenge the integrity of the group that formed for the sole purpose of fighting it?

"Middle Villager"

PS: Keep up the great work, the truth hurts.

School needs some discipline

On behalf of the block of 65th drive, we are requesting a write up in your paper regarding the activities that take place Friday ‒ Sunday at PS/IS 128, located at 69-10 65th Drive.

All weekend long and late into Saturday night, sometimes until 1:00/2:00am the school gymnasium is being used by various athletic leagues.

There is always trash left everywhere. Bottles, and not just soda and water, are left everywhere. the drive up the the wrong way on our little one way, they park in the hydrant for as long as they want. It is so aggravating to have to deal with this. We feel that our quality of life is being ruined.

As I am sure you might be aware, this is a 12 house block. Everyone on the blocked liked the area because of the quietness, but not any more. we have tired to be patient for almost 3 years, but we cannot take it anymore.

You do not even want to to go out on the weekends because you will never be able to park by your own home again.

Please let me know if you are able to help.

Thank you,

65th Drive Association

March 2017 Juniper Berry Magazine

March 2017 Table of Contents