Hello everyone. Well here we are at the last issue of the Juniper Berry for 2013. As you must already know, this is a quarterly publication and very often a very interesting bit of information comes in just as the Berry is getting printed. And that is why you may find some of my news a little late. But it is still noteworthy.

Grace Duy represented Middle Village in the September 2013 Hampton Classic Horse Show. She placed second out of thirty-five riders in the thousand dollar Adult Junior Competition. Congratulations Grace! Nice going!

Maria Lorenzo’s Silver Sneakers group at NYSC celebrated Freida Rastetter’s 94th Birthday with a Pizza Party and a birthday cake on October 21. Frieda walks to the gym three times a week and is an avid reader of “The Juniper Berry.”

Donna Ladolcetta & Michael Arlotta were married at St. Peter the Apostle Church in Islip Terrace on Saturday Nov. 16th. A grand celebration followed at East Winds in Wading River. Congratulations to the happy couple!

Christina & Angelo Kostaris welcomed into this world daughter Anastasia on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28th). She was 8lbs 8oz and 21″ long. Anastasia, as many know, is the granddaughter of Harry & Harriet Lambros from Harry’s Hardware.

Congratulations to Lena Ferrante of Middle Village who celebrated her 100th Birthday on Sept. 29th. Lena’s secrets to longevity are love of family, keeping busy with her many hobbies, and even indulging in a whiskey sour now and then according to her son, Al. He says his mom is a great cook and loves music, any music as long as it’s Italian. Lena lives alone, paying her own bills and keeping a checkbook balance. She has four children, seven grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.

We recently heard from Monsignor Nicholas Sivillo. He wanted the Juniper Berry sent to his new temporary quarters at the Immaculate Conception Center 7200 Douglaston Parkway (Room 316) Douglaston, NY 11362 He's making a quick recovery from a cerebral hemorrhage resulting from a car accident. Get well soon Monsignor, we miss you here in Middle Village.

The Queens Museum opened recently in the New York City Building at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The day I visited, there were class trips being escorted around the exhibits while the Museum was closed to the public. The Museum is closed on Monday & Tuesday. The exhibits were very interesting and display the history of Queens as well as buildings in NYC. For more information contact David Strauss at 718 592 9700.

Trick or Treaters covered the neighborhood on October 31st and are shown here on 77th Street, 72nd Street and somewhere on Penelope Ave. where an “unknown” clown was seen clowning around town.

The grandson of Lorraine and John Sciulli, Steven Mougis, got engaged recently to Jessica Noe and they are planning an October 11, 2014 wedding. Steven and Jessica are childhood sweethearts, together since high school. We wish them the best of luck and happiness in their future together.

Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi celebrated his 40th Birthday recently with his family and friends. Andrew is pictured here with Lorraine Sciulli and me, John Killcommons, at his special birthday party at Dee's Restaurant in Forest Hills. Also pictured is Andy’s dad, former Assemblyman and City & State Comptroller, Alan Hevesi with Tony Nunziato & Bob Holden. Happy Birthday, Andy and good luck into the future as our elected representative.

The photo (middle row, right) shows a presentation at the CB5 meeting on November 13th to three of the office staff in Community Board 5 receiving their awards for reaching milestone years in the CB5 office. They are left to right holding up their plaques – Cathy O'Leary 25 years, Laura Mulvihill 10 years and Pat Merto 15 years. Others in the picture are Gary Giordano, District Manager CB5, Cathy Moore from the Queens Borough President's Office and Vincent Arcuri, Chairperson CB5. We congratulate Cathy O'Leary, Laura Mulvihill and Pat Merto. All three are helpful and knowledgeable workers in the CB5 office in Glendale and always have answers to questions readily available. We wish them many more years of service to the community.

Lynn & Larry Roth organized a River Cruise down the Danube recently with stops in Budapest, Vienna, Germany and Prague. Middle Villagers who attended were: Claire and Eddie Baker, Terry and Frank Caputo, Kathy and Felix DeGiovanni, Kathy and John Fitzpatrick, Ginny and Gene Hummel and Marilyn and Frank Muzio. A great time was had by all!

Congrats to the Maspeth High School Debate Team for their wonderful performance in Lexington, Mass. this weekend! Aleks & Valerie finished in 3rd place (out of 80 teams) with a record of 5-0! Javier & Andy sported a record of 4-1 and Jordy & Horia posted a record of 3-2.

Another earth shattering performance from the Maspeth HS Chess Team in November! They won 1st place overall in the team category and swept the top three individual places (#1 Carlson, #2 Yuio & #3 Miguel) as well. Congrats to Coach Kwon and the team!

Martin Luther School in Maspeth will host a Father-Son* Breakfast on Sat., December 14 at 9 AM as we Talk Football with former NY Giants legend Sean Landeta. Come and hear stories about his playing days, have your photo taken with him and more! Tickets are $15 each or 2 for $25. Table of 8 for $90. For more information or to reserve your seats, please call (718) 894-4000 x133. (*Grandpas, Uncles, Cousins, Friends, Daughters…everyone is welcome!!)

Martin Luther School is also looking for Home Host Families for International Students for the second semester (beginning at the end of January, 2014!) If you are interested in learning more about opening your home to an International student, please call (718) 894-4000 x133. All Home Host families must complete an extensive registration process and have adequate space in their home for the student. There is a monthly stipend of $1100 for families who open their homes to an International student. For more information, call (718) 894-4000 x133, or send an email to info@MartinLutherNYC.org.

An article I read in a local newspaper interested me and I thought worthy of passing on here. It seems a large number of homes were robbed on the east end of Long Island and when the thief was finally apprehended he was asked how he had managed to rob these homes with no signs of break in. He said that it was easy. He simply looked at the house and visually picked out places a person might hide a key. Usually he found it immediately under a rock, a mat at the front door or a flower pot..
Something to think about.

Would like to remind everyone that you must file again for the Basic STAR program for tax reduction on your home. Even if you filed before, you have to file again by December 31st. You can do this by dialing 311 and giving your block and lot number or go online at www.tax.ny.gov