Hello Everyone. Here’s hoping you all got through the winter cold of 2019 and are happily looking forward to the arrival of spring. Not saying winter is done with us, because the only real snow we got this winter was in March which isn’t over yet. But, it's almost over.

Siblings Matthew Grogan, a Nassau County police officer, and Kevin Grogan, a Port Authority police officer assigned to LaGuardia Airport, teamed up last November to help foil the escape of a woman who had robbed her husband of $80,000 and was preparing to flee to North Carolina. They were honored by Nassau Police Benevolent Association president James McDermott at a December ceremony that was big news. Kevin received Top Cop honors by the Nassau County Legislature. The brothers grew up in Middle Village and their father is a Port Authority officer at Kennedy Airport.

On December 13th Girl Scout Troop 4140 entertained our Senior Citizens at Our Lady of Hope where they sung Christmas Carols to the Golden Age Group. Nice going girls. Your caroling was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

All Faiths Cemetery elected two new members to serve on the Cemetery's Board of Trustees in December. Both individuals are highly qualified and will bring with them professional talents to complement the existing board. The first new board member is Juanita N. Holmes, a former Assistant Chief and Commanding Officer of NYPD Patrol Borough Queens North who will be the first African-American to ever serve as a board member. The second new board member is Dean Mihaltses, the Chief Operating Officer of Queens Hospital Center, one of the hospitals which is a part of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. Daniel C. Austin, the Cemetery's Chairman of the Board, proudly nominated the two new members and was elated when the existing board members confirmed them. Congratulations to them both.

Taking over the reins at Patrol Borough Queens North is Assistant Chief Martin Morales. Morales was the commanding officer of the NYPD’s Domestic Violence Unit prior to being assigned to his current post on December 22. Welcome!

Middle Village’s own Joey Lynaugh finished in the top 16 in the world at the JDC Junior World Darts Championship in Bristol, England this past December. This was out of the top 80 youth shooters from all over the globe. State Senator Joe Addabbo honored him with a citation in January.

Ninety-five-year old Josephine DeSanto of Middle Village hopes everyone had a Merry Christmas. She sure did!

A local lady, Jacqueline Gagliano, founded an organization dedicated to Italian culture called La Bella Italia, which held a reception on January 13 at Christ the King High School. About 81 people turned out to offer support and encouragement.

On the snowy Friday morning of January 18, a new C-Town opened on 65th Place in the former Maspeth Supermarket space. What a welcome addition to the neighborhood, especially for people who live up on the Plateau. Good luck to owner Chris Aziz and Manager Moe Aziz!

Anthony Steven Nunziato was christened on January 27. Check out this balloon and flower assortment put together by his proud grandpa, JPCA’s very own president, Tony Nunziato, who spent the weekend with his family in the Berkshires in mid-February and celebrated a birthday on February 27.

PS/IS 87 and PS/IS 128 girls volleyball teams have met several times this year in preparation for this year’s MSVL Volleyball League this Winter. Both teams are favorites to go all the way to the city championship. Good luck Mr. Termine, Mr. Whitney and all your girls!

Our Lady of Hope Parish welcomed Father Kenneth Grande as a Parochial Vicar in February.

Yer Man’s in Glendale was the site of a get together on February 7 of the team that has advocated since 2007 to protect the Ridgewood Reservoir. They raised a glass in celebration of all their accomplishments over the past year, including getting it listed it on the State and National Registers of Historic Places and obtaining Class 1 Wetlands Protection from the NYSDEC. Great work. Perseverance pays off!

Katherine Foley posted the following on our Facebook page: “My son is in Marine boot camp and I really thought this would be amazing to show my neighborhood what they had all the men do a few weeks ago. They have not done this in 100 years. It’s the anniversary.” Katherine’s son is PFC Joseph Foley. Some of You might know him from Our Lady of Hope as he worked there for 5 years. Thank you all for your service, Joey!

Meanwhile, Maspeth's Vincent D'Aquaro, son of Linda D'Aquaro, is a 6-year Marine reservist. May God watch over all of them as they watch over the USA.

The long-awaited opening of Patrizia’s Italian restaurant at 69-35 Grand Ave finally happened on February 11. Our very own president, Tony Nunziato, provided the fresh floral arrangements. The place has been absolutely packed since it opened! Fast foodies welcomed the opening of Burger King at the Stop & Shop Center on Grand Avenue on February 15.

Sushi lovers are celebrating the opening of My Sushi on February 18. And the Queens Beerhouse opened before Christmas behind the Queens Center Mall, serving 30 different beers and a menu with everything from pizza to German brats.

My daughter Kelly Werner and I celebrated a Birthday together on February 12. And a snow storm always seems to make our birthdays complete. This year didn't disappoint!

Anna Lampman, a 13-year-old Girl Scout from Middle Village who attends Sacred Heart Academy, is working for her Silver Award by assembling kits made of donated children’s bedtime items and providing them to needy children. Way to go, Anna!

The Knockdown Center was the venue for the 104th Pct Community Council’s Cop of the Year celebration on February 28. This year, 30-year veteran Leonard O’Toole, who plans to retire soon, was the honoree. Among his many accomplishments while on the force was his 20 years of perfect attendance! JPCA officers were on hand to wish him well.

March 2 there was a snowstorm. After it was over, Kate Bering took a stroll over to Juniper Valley Park. She reported on our Facebook page that “Big Boy” was the creation of four local boys. Congratulations and thanks to Dylan Kelly, Oliver Dolega, Casey Jaggers and Andrew Jaggers.

A new place for kids to play called Puzzle Break is planning to open up on Woodhaven Blvd next door to Barosa by mid-April. They are going to feature escape rooms, where you have to find clues and solve puzzles in order make your way out. I’m lucky if I can find my keys and glasses, so I’ll leave this excitement to the youngsters.

That’s all the news for now. But I’m not done yet. You’ll likely be reading this shortly after March 17th, so:

What do you get when you cross poison ivy with a four-leaf clover?
A rash of good luck.

Why can't you borrow money from a leprechaun?
Because they're always a little short.

“I married an Irishman on St. Patrick's Day.”
“Oh, really?”
“No, O'Reilly!”

May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow
And may trouble avoid you wherever you go.
May your wishes come true and your truth be wise
And your heart be stolen by Irish eyes.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!