Does it seem that winter is starting earlier this year? We've already had our first snow disaster with people stuck on the roads for hours. Is this a sign of what's to come? (I certainly hope not.) Look out for your elderly neighbors. Let's all help each other make it through the season so we can all have a happy and healthy New Year.

The FDNY on September 26th dedicated a plaque and street to William Tolley, the longtime New York City firefighter who died in a fall off a Ridgewood roof last year. The plaque was unveiled at Engine 286/Ladder 135 and calls Tolley a man “who made the supreme sacrifice” on April 20, 2017. A segment of 66th Place was co-named in Tolley’s honor.

JPCA’s 80th Anniversary Party was held on September 27th at Villa Erasmo. Council Member Robert Holden was honored with a special award for having served as president of JPCA for 25 years. Ernie Chirichella, past president, was also present and acknowledged at the party. The civic received proclamations from State Senator Joe Addabbo, State Assembly Member Brian Barnwell, Congress Member Grace Meng and Council Member Holden. The beer was donated by 69th Street Beer Distributors, the wine by Maspeth Wine & Liquor and the pastries and cake were donated by Continental Pastry. Guests took home 80th anniversary wine glasses as mementoes. Thank you to all who helped us celebrate.

Congratulations to JPCA President Tony Nunziato and his wife, Dolores, on becoming grandparents for the first time! Tony’s son, Anthony, and daughter-in-law, Jennifer, welcomed little Anthony Steven Nunziato into the world on October 2nd. What a lucky kid! He arrived just in time to celebrate his first Christmas. Welcome to the grandparents' club, Tony and Dolores!

JPCA co-sponsored a Halloween festival at Juniper Valley Park on October 20th. Hundreds of costumed kids paraded through the park and enjoyed bounce houses, hay mazes, arts and crafts, an NYPD rock wall and more. We look forward to sponsoring more family events in the future.

Crystal Wolfe’s sci-fi novel, Where the Shadows Meet the Light in The Creation Series: Volume One, was released on November 11th. The book is currently available on Amazon and Kindle and will be in bookstores and libraries hopefully by the end of the year or the beginning of 2019. You may find the link for her three books, information for her upcoming author talks, and her work with the homeless utilizing food waste on the website of her 501(c)(3) nonprofit Catering for the Homeless, Inc. at She also held a very successful toiletry drive for the homeless this season and works so hard to help the less fortunate. Thank you for your dedication, Crystal!

Ground was broken for the Queens Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Elmhurst Park on November 29th. The project has been in the making for more than a decade and is expected to be completed and dedicated next autumn. Congratulations to Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski on her upcoming retirement December 31st. Dottie is a Middle Village resident and we wish her all the best.

Newtown Historical Society received a grant from the William C. Pomeroy Foundation to install an historic marker at the Ridgewood Reservoir commemorating the placement on the National Register of Historic Places. The sign sits next to the main steps along Vermont Place.

JPCA’s Holiday Party and Raffle will take place December 13th at Our Lady of Hope at 7:45pm. Eat, drink and be merry, everyone!

Say, what do you call an elf wearing earmuffs? Whatever the heck you want. He can’t hear you!

To all my Jewish friends, Happy Hanukkah.
To the Christians, Merry Christmas.
And to everyone else, Happy Holidays.
See you next year!