The summer began with a fierce battle between two of Our Lady of Hope baseball teams playing for the 5th Grade CYO championship. OLH Hornets East vs. West went eleven innings with a tied score. The game was called due to darkness on a rainy evening, June 20th, and resumed on June 24th West won after one inning when Lenny Lynaugh scored on a base hit. The West won 5-4. The pitchers were Ryan Loeffel and Frank Cerrillo and Freddie Ferrante and Salvatore Liarda were relief pitchers.

We're on a baseball roll in Middle Village. The Midville Dodgers' under 18 squad are the Northeast Regional Champs and they've earned a trip to the NABF World Series in Jackson, Mississippi. Congratulations to Coach Greg Modica and his team.

Middle Village has a promising young tennis player on their courts, Anna Tatishvili. Anna comes originally from Georgia, a republic In Western Asia. She has been playing tennis at the Juniper Valley Park tennis courts since the age of 7. Now 19 years old, she recently made it to the third round of the qualifying rounds at the 2009 US Open. With the support of Freddie Kroll and other Middle Village tennis enthusiasts, she made it to just one win away from center court on Opening Day at the 2009 US Open. Remember her name, Anna Tatishvili, she is one of the young, up and coming talents in tennis and she now lives in Middle Village!

We welcomed a new Pastor to Our Lady of Hope Parish, effective June 30th, the Reverend Michael A. Carrano, former pastor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Brooklyn Heights. Father Carrano takes over from our beloved Monsignor Nicholas Sivillo who retired after twenty-one productive years at Hope. We wish Father Carrano the best of luck and the Juniper Park Civic Association looks forward to working with him over the years.

Everyone is admiring our new Met Supermarket corner with its fancy brickwork and great curb appeal. And, it's not done yet! There will be awnings at the entryways to give shade for the customers and more curb appeal to the corner. We have the owner, Sandra Lehman, to thank for this great upgrade of the buildings. There are those of us who still remember that corner when it was the Tudor Tavern, and the owners, May and Joe Pascale, welcoming everyone in the neighborhood to their Wednesday night free pizza! Those were really the good old days!

Middle Village resident, Ellen Heffner celebrated her birthday at the Villa Tuscany in the Hamptons with family and friends on June 27th and her son, Michael, of Ladder Co. 44, gave her a great birthday present. He was awarded the NYC's Fire Department's M.J. Delehanty Medal for bravery in a fire on December 28, 2008, in the Bronx.

The Learning Tree Nursery School in Middle Village had a summer bake sale and raised $600. Abe Shampaner, Owner/Director of the School called the JPCA and gave the good news that he is donating the $600 to the JPCA in a gesture of thanks for all the work the JPCA volunteers do in the neighborhood. What a guy! We thank Abe and we will put the money to good use throughout the community.

As we go to press La Bella Cucina Ristorante on Juniper Boulevard South has the “Grand Opening” signs up and we have a new restaurant debut in Middle Village! Congratulation to the owner, Joe Passanante, and all who helped him launch this new venture!

The 2009 summer concerts in Juniper Valley Park, sponsored by the NYC Parks Department and the Juniper Park Civic Association, were great fun, with neighborhood residents enjoying the music under the stars. We thank the NYC Parks Department for donating the staging equipment for the concerts.

The Italian Night Concert was a great success. Everyone participated by singing and dancing to the music, which combined a mix of Italian songs and some good old-fashioned American Rock sounds! The Italian Pop Band, Caleps, closed the evening by inviting all the young children to come on stage, hold hands and sing, “We are the World.” It was great to see the kids singing their hearts out and it capped Italian Night as an enjoyable evening for all.

The Irish Nigh Concert was another memorable event with Tommy Flynn entertaining the audience with favorite Irish songs and having everyone join in the singing. The kids also ended the evening on stage singing along with the band.

We are all looking forward to Middle Village Volunteer Ambulance Corps Vice President, Joe Magnus' book entitled “The Resonant Voice.”Joe came to America from his homeland in Czechoslovakia during World War II and he's never looked back. He became, Joe Magnus, American, and despite his still heavy accent, his loyalties are in our great land that welcomes all the hard workers out there who come here and blend into the American way of life. There's a tease excerpt about his journey to America from his book in this issue of the Juniper Berry.

Sightings in Montauk over the summer: Carol and Jack Veracocchea, Barbara and Al Werner, Elizabeth Roth and Elizabeth Killcommons were all spotted at the Montauk Lighthouse. Rose and Tony Minutoli and Rose and Bob Aglietti vacationed at the Montauk Surf Club.
Andrea McGoldrick and her family enjoyed a carefree and restful time at the Ocean Beach Resort
Kathy DiGiovanni, Ginny Hummel, Lynn Roth and Marilyn Muzio were seen dining in the Harvest on Fort Pond

Also spotted at the Harvest were Carol and Andrew Mougis, daughter and son-in-law of JPCA's, Lorraine Sciulli, Marie and John Ziccardi and their family at Ben and Jerry's on the Dock, enjoying some good ice cream on a hot summer day.

Congratulations are in order for Teddy Jankonski who retired from the New York City Fire Department and Rich Scott and Peter Miceli who were promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on the FDNY.

Congratulations to John Veracocchea and Jennie Lundman who became engaged and set their wedding date for February 12, 2010.

We welcomed some new kids on the Block! James Thomas Felle who was born on August 15th. His parents are Joe and Anne Marie Felle. Also, James Vincent O'Donnell was born on March 11. James' Mom and Dad are Neil and Barbara O'Donnell.

Congratulations to JPCA member, Estelle Szyjka who celebrated her 80th Birthday with her husband, George and the rest of the family at their daughter, Lorraine's house, in Aurora, Ohio. Lorraine is married to Rick Buoncore and they both grew up in Middle Village. You may recall Estelle, who was the Manager in Niederstein's Restaurant for many years. Don't we all miss that great neighborhood restaurant and their delicious German meals!

Katie Killcommons celebrated her 4th Birthday at the Sun and Surf Beach Club in Atlantic Beach on August 30th with a giant carnival and her entire family attending.

Birthday celebrations are in order for long time JPCA members Bill and Ilse Gobler as they both celebrate milestone birthdays at Peter Luger Steak House with some of their close friends. There will also be another big bash celebration at Abbracciamento's with Bill and Ilse's extended family and many more friends. Ilse's sister and brother-in-law, Helly and Walter Adams will be visiting from Austria to help in the celebrations.

Joseph Campisi, president of the Middle Village Volunteer Ambulance Corp. is a hard working volunteer. He travels every Friday night from Syosset, L.I. to work with the ambulance “Trauma Troopers.” Mr. Campisi was a resident of Glendale until he moved from Queens.

Joann and Ezio Benini had their annual barbecue at their house in August with students from the German-American School Joann attends on Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood. Their son, Stephen, was the chef and the food never stopped coming!

JPCA President, Bob Holden and his wife Amy, sneaked away to St. Maarten once again but this time they had a few kids with them to keep them busy.

Maspeth's Enchanted Florist owner, Tony Nunziato and his wife, Dolores, got some sun, good food and rest on their summer trip to the Caribbean.

Can't believe it's time for the 2009 US Open at Flushing Meadow Park. The games start Monday, August 31st. Get your tickets early and hopefully I'll see you all at the Open – John Killcommons