Well, hello everyone! Hope you all survived this wild winter in New York also known as “The Winter of Discontent.” I know I have stated how much I love the winter and the snow; but hey, whatever happened to Al Gore’s Global Warming? Just kidding. I still love that wonderful white stuff. Disappointed that I can’t get out there and shovel like I used to.

Sharing a birthday with my beautiful daughter, Kelly, on February 12th we had to get used to the idea of snow in February. For me it was a big one and the family celebrated in Ponticello’s restaurant in Astoria. Happy Birthday Kelly! Also, Happy Birthday to my adorable granddaughter Sarah, on February 5th.

Jack Killcommons and Gianluca Chioti are on top of hill on corner of 77th Street and 60th Road after February 13th storm.

Right after the last big snowfall I was enjoying a short walk in the Park when I ran across a Dad and his three kids building three snowmen, I was so impressed I asked if they could send me a picture for my column because it shows the spirit of Middle Village. The Dad is Casey Keith and the children are Matthew on the right, a second grader. Amy in the middle who is in kindergarten, and James on the left is in pre-K. Dad says they have lived in Middle Village their entire lives and love it. Great job guys!

Congratulations to Gary Apostolo for winning the 2013 NYC Department of Building's Commissioners Award of Excellence in 2013. The Commissioners Award honors individuals and groups of employees who have provided excellent service to the DOB and millions of New Yorkers. One hundred and twenty-five nominations for the award were submitted demonstrating the hard work and dedication of so many of the DOB employees. Their efforts have helped make NYC a better place to live, work and build. Gary has been employed by the NYC Department of Buildings for thirty years and he is still with the Emergency Response Team. He is the son of Ceil Carrano, a longtime JPCA volunteer.

Happy Birthday to Barbara Werner celebrating with friends and family at a party given by her children.

This news in from Joe Magnus, of the Middle Village Volunteer Ambulance Corp. MVVAC wishes to announce that the Annual Fund Drive for the year 2014 has started. The drive is done entirely by mail and residents of Middle Village and Maspeth can expect to receive a packet from the organization. Magnus, the Treasurer explained that donations are needed to continue free emergency medical care and transportation for the community Also volunteers are needed. If you’d like information contact Mr. Magnus (718) 639-3290

Ping Pong anyone? This came in from Ben Schiff: Ping Pong players are invited to play ping pong in Nunny’s Liquor store located at 59-63 69th Street in Maspeth on a full size table in the afternoon. Ray Heal, the owner of the store has a full size table set up. It started several months ago for the kids and adults in the neighborhood.

Panardo’s deli/bakery at 71-19 Eliot Avenue has undergone a renovation/expansion and will be changing its name to Panepinto Bakery and Café owner Joseph Panepinto tells me. He said: “We are just making it more comfortable and inviting to our neighbors and friends of Middle Village. There will be a seating area, where customers can come in and enjoy a panini, soup, salad and of course our tasty desserts. Desserts will consist of French and Italian pastries. We specialize in custom cakes for every occasion. We also cater for any affair. We have a plentiful menu for both food and dessert. Our mission is to always try our best to satisfy our customers, if not exceed their expectations. Our goal is to keep our loyal customers happy and welcome all of the newcomers. We want to keep Middle Village the close-knit community it is and what better way to do that than with food and dessert!!!” Good Luck Joe!

Joanne Amagrande and her snow dog, Cleo, were seen in Forest Park sledding down some hills near the Parks Department’s Overlook building. Joanne is the Chief of Staff to Parks Commissioner Dottie Lewandowski who are both longtime Middle Village residents. We thank them for their hard work and for all they do to help make Juniper Valley Park one of the best parks in the City of New York.

Everyone has batteries in a variety of devices and at times wonder if the battery is good or not. Well, if you don’t own a battery meter, there is a simple test to find out if the battery is good or not, It’s called the bounce test. Hold battery an inch or so above a surface and drop. If it stands up it’s good, if it falls down it’s not. This works for AA, AAA, C, and D batteries,

March 2, 2014 was the end for Abbracciamento’s Italian restaurant, a staple in our community since 1948. We all wish Marie and John the best of luck in their retirement and thank them for 65 years of delicious Italian food prepared by Chef John Abbraciamento. We will surely miss them.

Our Lady of Hope Drama Club will be presenting Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.” On Wednesday, April 9th and Thursday, April 10th at 7:30 p.m. in Our Lady of Hope Auditorium. Ticket prices are: $10 for Adults, $5 for students 14 years of age and under. Tickets may be purchased in the School Office beginning Monday, March 31st.

Our Lady of Hope 8th Grade Soccer team won the CYO Soccer Championship for 2013 with an undefeated season. Great job by the players and coaches Andrew and Tommy.

The Producer, Lindsey Levy, at Maggie’s Little Theater sends in the following: Since 2007, Maggie;s Little Theater has been bringing theater to the Queens community with two shows every year. Performers of all backgrounds, ages, and experience levels are encouraged to audition. The group strives to nurture and inspire a love of theater in its audiences as well as cast and crew. Guiding each rehearsal process is a focus on high
production value as well as positive community experience along the way to opening night.

Congratulations to Danny and Danielle Sollecito on their recent New Years wedding. The couple will reside in Middle Village.

Here’s a great deal. O’Neill’s Restaurant, Maspeth, has teamed up with Lindy’s Car Service to get you to and from the restaurant on 65th Place. Take Lindy’s (718) 497-0333 to O’Neill’s and get a free ride home. It’s a great way to enjoy a hassle-free night and get door-to-door service at a great price.

Lorraine and John Sciulli celebrated 59 years of wedded bliss on February 12th. The couple grew up in Middle Village. We congratulate them and take this opportunity to thank Lorraine who is the editor of this Juniper Berry for her tireless efforts to keep this community what it is today. She is on top of everything and will stop at nothing to get a job done. We are lucky to have her on our side protecting our interests. Thanks again Lorraine!

We also would like to wish Tony Nunziato a very happy birthday on February 27th. Tony celebrated with friends in Parkside Restaurant..

Pastor Msgr. Steve Aguggia (center), Fr. Joseph Wilson
(left) and Fr. Gino Pattugalan are all smiles at the annual St Patrick's Irish Night at St Margaret's Church. They enjoyed the food and great Irish music from the Cunninghams. It was a happy time for all.

Martin Luther School, located at 60-02 Maspeth Avenue in Maspeth, will administer its Entrance Exam to 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th graders interested in either Middle School or High School admission for September, 2014, on Saturday, March 22, 2014, at 8:30 AM. A Parent’s information meeting will be held during the exam, and tours of the facilities will be given. Parents will also be counseled on applying for Grant-in-Aid and will receive instruction on applying for financial aid. In order to take either exam, students must first apply to the school. For more information or to receive an admissions package, contact the Admissions Secretary at the school office at 718-894-4000.

Lifestyle Salon is celebrating their first anniversary at 82-16A Eliot Avenue. We welcomed them in the March/April 2013 Juniper Berry to their new location and since then they’ve been a big hit in the neighborhood. In case you didn’t know they’ve been a team for 20 years when starting back on Yellowstone Blvd in Forest Hills where they worked together and became close friends. “As time passed we became a fixture in the neighborhood Steve, Bobby and myself,” says owner Roman Ilyayev. Last year they decided to bring their business across Woodhaven Boulevard into Middle Village. They found out quickly that this is a great neighborhood and in turn they provide impeccable service and great haircuts!

The following businesses in our area very generously gave to the Juniper Park Civic Association Christmas Raffle which everyone enjoyed at our JPCA Christmas Town Meeting in December 2013:
Andy’s Delicatessen $75 gift certificate
Artis Drugs $50 gift certificate
Connolly’s $25 gift certificate
Subway $5 gift certificate
Maspeth Pizza Large Pie
Ridgewood Savings (2) $25.00 gift certificates
Gemelli Jewelers Shambola Bracelet
Joey’s Pizza Large Pie
Stop & Shop $20.00 gift certificate
Ivarone $25 gift certificate
Fame Diner $25 gift certificate
Da Bar Shoes $20.00 gift certificate
Palermo Bakery (2) Cookie Trays
Ace Liquors (2) Bottles of Wine gift box
Stop & Go Liquors (4) Bottles of Wine
Amalgamated Bank $40.00 Cash
Good Eats $25 gift certificate
Grand Florist Large Fresh Wreath
Maspeth Wine & Liquors (2) Bottles of Wine
Glendale Bakery $15.00 gift certificate
Key Food/Grand Ave. (2) $25.00 gift certificate

Enchanted Florist Huge Fresh Poinsettia
Community Beverage $40.00 gift certificate
Curves on 69th Street 1 Full Month
69th St. Distributors
$30.00 gift certificate
(2) Bottles of Wine gift box
Rosa Pizza $30.00 Dinner for Two
Touch of Class Hair (80th Street) $35.00 gift certificate
Silver Barn $30.00 gift certificate
Harry’s Paint & Hardware $50.00 Gift Certificate
Met Food $50 Gift Certificate
Middle Village Hand Car Wash Wash and Wax
Rashachy Spa Gift Basket & GC
All Faiths Cemetery (Metro) 2 Bottles of Wine
Barosa (Woodhaven) $50.00 GC
Raneri Real Estate $25.00 GC & Calendar
Len & Barb Santoro BBQSet, (2) Candle Gifts

And now I”I’ll close with a joke: A dinner speaker was in such a hurry to get to his engagement that when he arrived and sat down at the head table, he suddenly realized that he had forgotten his false teeth. Turning to the man next to him, he complained, “I forgot my teeth, what am I going to do now!?” The man said, “No problem.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a pair of false teeth. “Try these,” he said. The speaker tried them on. “Too loose,” he said. The man then said, “I have another pair – try these.” The speaker tried them on and responded, “Too tight.” The man was not taken back at all he said, “I have one more pair. Try them.” The speaker said, “They fit perfectly.” With that, he ate his meal and gave his speech. After the dinner meeting was over, the speaker went to thank the man who had helped him. “I want to thank you for coming to my aid. Where is your office? I've been looking for a good Dentist. The man replied, “I'm not a dentist. I'm an undertaker!!!”