St. Margaret’s
Alive & Well

Dear Editor:
In your March/April issue, “Name Withheld” had a letter published which spoke of the influx of students to PS/IS 49. In this letter, Saint Margaret School was mentioned as a possible site for an annex for kindergarten and primary classes! Well, this was certainly news to me and, may I quickly add, is completely untrue. The writer says something which is quite indicative: “There is talk that the kindergarten classes, and possibly another grade, might have to be moved to an “annex” building “[..]” perhaps Saint Margaret’s.” Herein, may I suggest, lies the problem. “Talk” and gossip, the source of rumors are dangerous, especially as they come from anonymous sources. They help to spread fear and misconceptions. Allow me to clarify and help get facts straight and nip a rumor in the bud.

Saint Margaret School, the fourth oldest school in the Diocese of Brooklyn and 141 years old, is alive and well and has no intention of housing an annex for a public school’s overflow. We would have no place to do this since we are using our facilities to the maximum and anticipating a good year ahead (2011-12) and furthermore, no one has even approached us about this.

Our school, which instills values and builds faith as well as it pursues the commitment to excellent education, is an institution which serves the Middle Village Community quite well. We face challenges but we are also working on plans and ideas for the future. Our Diocese is involved in a reconfiguration process which will bring our schools into the future with new ideas built upon the solid foundation that Catholic Education is. Saint Margaret School, a vital part of the Middle Village Community for so long, will play an importation part in this future.

There is quite simply no substitute for Catholic Education and thanks to excellent leadership, faculty and parents who value what is offered here, Saint Margaret School is an outstanding example of all that that means.

Sincerely yours,
Steven J. Aguggia, Pastor
St. Margaret’s R.C. Church

left my heart
in maspeth

To the Editor:
I was a resident of Maspeth from 1953-1976. When I moved to Setauket my heart has never left Maspeth as I have the best memories of living there. From 1953-1966 I lived at 68-12 Clinton Avenue (56 RD). My home is no longer there, replaced by a monstrous multi-family home.

It’s a shame how Maspeth is being stripped of its charm by these multi-family dwellings and overcrowding. Where my family and the one next door lived, now at least 8 families live. UGH!

After I married a Maspeth boy, we lived at 60-23 69th Place. Each year I drive or walk through Maspeth taking pictures and wishing we could turn back the clock.

I enjoy your magazine very much. Keep them coming.

Christiana Florie
seat belt snafu

Dear Mr. Holden:
I was one of many pulled over (March/April 2011 Juniper Berry page 14) for the seat belt law. As you can see the patrol car is sticking way out from the white line. I was pulled over and had to park in front of a car already pulled over.
I tried to explain I have a pacemaker and the belt was hurting me, that’s why I had the belt on my left shoulder only. The officer did not listen and only said license and registration many times.

I was wrong by not wearing the seat belt correctly but please give me a break!
This last issue 3/11 was one of the best and brings back memories of the early construction and car barns. Thank you.

What about Grand Avenue banks especially Maspeth Federal, which every year around Christmas has a free bus going to St. Charles Cemetery and summer concerts.

Adele Lemieszewski
Middle Village

dumping ground
on 71st avenue

To the Editor:
One of the biggest  eyesores, and also one of the most disgusting strips in all of Middle Village has to be 71 Avenue between 74th Street and 76th Street. Garbage is being dumped there by the vanload. I contacted Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley’s office twice last year and both times a crew was sent in a timely manner to clean up. It is progressively getting worse and I am getting concerned an infestation of rodents will show soon. Many Middle Village children (including mine) walk through there to go to School, Atlas Mall, etc. I am hoping the businesses located there would put up cameras to catch these disgusting garbage dumpers, report them to the authorities and have them fined. It is becoming a dangerous situation.
Joe Licato
Middle Village

get a handle
on the vandals

To the Editor,
As a concerned resident of 75th Street I would like to alert car owners who park on Lutheran Avenue between 75th Street and Juniper Blvd. North and also on Juniper Blvd. North between 75th Street and Lutheran Avenue, that vandals are breaking into cars and stealing everything they can get their hands on. This has happened to me and other neighbors.

The reason why vandals prey on these cars is because with the railroad on one side and the Children Day Care on the other side they cannot be seen when they break in. “Drivers Beware!”

Marino Pena
Middle Village

dogs in juniper

Dear Sir or Madam,
Juniper Valley Park visitors are bringing dogs into the “KIDDIE” Playground.  My two-year old grandchild was running around and playing in the “KIDDIE” playground and it made me feel quite uncomfortable and fearful, as he could have been bitten and or injured.
It was my understanding pets are prohibited from that playground.  Should a toddler quickly run up to a dog, one never knows what the reaction of either could be.
Teenagers, were also in the “KIDDIE” Playground, behaving boisterously and handling the “KIDDIE” rides in a rough and disrespectful manner.  Teens were running about in the “KIDDIE” Playground and shouting loudly, causing little children and parents to feel extremely frightened and uneasy.
It is my opinion, pets should NOT be in “KIDDIE” Playground and teens should be in an “Age-Appropriate” area of the park.  I am not surprised if they damaged the little rides in the “KIDDIE” Playground, with their “inappropriate” size, jumping on and in them, in a rough manner. This is not fair to young children.
Recently my grandchildren were in Kiddie Playground (Juniper Valley Road South) near 79th Street…two dogs were brought “INTO” the playground and my party was forced to leave.
Your immediate attention toward “corrective action” is appreciated.
Very Truly Yours,
Ms. Carol A. Marano, RN

Response – We have contacted Rene Herrera, Park Manager for CB5 and he advises that he will post signs stating that no dogs are allowed in the children’s playgrounds in Juniper Park. ed. 

Middle Village Going to the Dogs

Dear Editor,
It appears that almost every family in Middle Village has at least one dog. What is disgusting and frustrating is seeing, every single day, dog droppings on
sidewalks, in front of homes, just about everywhere. You know who you are… pick up after your dog!

I live on 69th Pl. and I hope I catch these people in the act; I will take their picture and post for all to see.

Linda Sottosanti
Middle Village
can Scavengers go too far

To Whom it May Concern:
I am writing because I am at my wits end with the “can collectors” in my Middle Village neighborhood. The past several years these “collectors” have become more and more aggressive and downright insolent. I cannot put out my recyclables in my pail until pick-up day because if I do I have to chase these “collectors” off my property. When I do put out my recyclables they tear open the bags, pick out what they want and leave the rest all over the sidewalk. My next-door neighbor had to buy a mini-shed to lock up his garbage to keep them off his property!

Today was the final straw. I went to throw out the regular garbage only to discover that the large contractor bag that I throw the rest of my garbage inside my pail was gone! This vulgar person actually dumped out my garbage into my pail so they could steal my contractor bag to carry their cans!

Something needs to be done about these discourteous people who think they have the right to enter our property without permission, block traffic with their stolen shopping carts, and bring down our property value with their vulgar appearances.

Willy Termine
Middle Village

Response: The CO of the 104th Pct. urges residents not to allow trespassers on your property, burglars have been known to pose as bottle scavengers. Call 911 if anyone enters your property without permission. ed.
new park is

Dear Editor,
From the first day the new Elmhurst Park on Grand Avenue and 79th Street  had a ready crowd. I was there on the first day and many days since and the look on the children’s faces was that of excitement like getting a new toy. It seems this park is the perfect location to fill a void in parkland for the people who live nearby in Maspeth and Elmhurst. Juniper Valley, Principe, Frontera Parks are too far for many of the youngsters and seniors. Crowley Park is close but mostly has basketball courts and a small play area for the kids and no grass.
The 6.5 acre park has lots of trees, shrubs, benches, large boulders, winding paths and grassy rolling hills along with a large play area with many interesting activities such as a sliding pond designed with rocks. There are areas for sprinklers in hot weather and a small area of artificial turf for more vigorous activities like baseball and soccer, most of the grassy areas are reserved for passive activities. A favorite of many of the kids is in the center of the park and that is the big hill that is its highest point. From the top kids can roll all the way down the hill and I bet when it snows this will be everyone’s favorite sleigh-riding hill.

When the Long Island Expressway was widened about 20 years ago the community lost a great sleigh-riding hill that was nearby at 74 Street and 57 Avenue. Everyone called this “The Grass Hill.” It took a long time but we got our grass hill back again.
After looking at two giant gas tanks that have been there since the 1920’s the community wanted a passive park a place where parents could bring young children and where seniors could sit on a bench to talk and read or just rest after shopping on Grand Avenue. It took some letter writing, some protesting and meetings with KeySpan until they finally decided to sell the land to the city for $1 and the city put another $21 million dollars towards the building of a park.
Thanks to all our elected officials who helped and especially to Mayor Bloomberg, the Juniper Park Civic Association and to all the community activists and concerned citizens who helped make this happen.
Let’s hope we can have the same cooperation between the community and the city so we can get a park at the site of St. Saviour’s Church in Maspeth. This residential area doesn’t have any green spaces and is bordering on Rust Street, which is a truck route in Maspeth’s industrial area. This is a perfect place for some trees and benches and maybe even a sleigh-riding hill.

Richard Polgar

give 69th street rats the skidoo

To the Editor:
I have seen rats on 69th Street and Eliot Avenue heading in the direction of the abandoned house right next to the Mobil-Exxon gas station. Also, reports indicate that they have had sightings of them running around on 61st Road late at night into the early morning hours. Many young children are in this area. I called 311. Need action immediately.

Hugh McCaul
Middle Village

Absentee owner

To the Editor:
I have a neighbor who does not live in his house. He lives in Pennsylvania and I don't know why he leaves this house alone.

He has an air conditioner in the front second floor window that has become a home for pigeons. These birds leave droppings all over his stoop and these birds also leave their droppings on my property and the neighbor’s on the other side of his house. Washing does not help. Even with the rain this past week the house is a mess. These pigeons also dig up our lawns and my flower box.

He has been told about the problem and nothing has been done to fix the problem. The house in question is 6130 81 Street. Help!! Thanking you in advance for any help you can give.

Carole Daleo
Middle Village

Kudos for Review

Dear Ms. Maria Candela
Thank you for the gracious review you gave my book “No More Tomorrows.” I had more than one argument with agents over the strong dialect I used for people to be able to hear my parents voices. It was important to me. You are the only one who mentioned that in you review and for that I thank you.

Dominic Caruso

Dear Mr. Caruso:
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my review and commenting on it. I found your family's story fascinating and being the daughter of Italian immigrants, I felt much empathy for their plight. – Maria Candela

It was wonderful and gratifying to receive your comments.

Thank you again.
– Maria Candela