Bygone Era

Dear Lorraine:  I congratulate you on your Woman of Distinction Award. It is wonderful to see the people that get involved are formally appreciated.I immensely enjoyed your piece in the June 2012 issue of the Juniper Berry on The Silver Crest Farm. I especially liked to read how often the prior generation was successful. Mr. Schwartz and his brother came from Austria, worked hard and were eventually rewarded. They bought 40 acres of land and built a successful dairy farm.

I also enjoy stories about veterans coming home after WWII and building their future in our town. Many have bought homes on one income. With even “mediocre” jobs they were able to feed their families and send their kids to college. They are now retiring and many have pensions allowing them to comfortably enjoy their years in the sunset.
I must admit I get sentimental and can’t help but compare these stories to the situation that young people face today. Many of them cannot afford an attached home in Middle Village even on two incomes. With both parents working, someone has to take care of the children and that cost is high. Their paychecks are further trimmed by expenses the older generation did not have to worry about. Many employers, in an attempt to reduce their health care expenses, are now forcing employees to pay part of the health insurance premium. Pensions are all but gone and employees have to worry about their own future, by deferring money in 401k plans. Many struggle with how to do that. High child care costs, high mortgage/rent, trimmed paychecks and higher food and energy expenses prevent them from setting money aside for the future. They can’t afford to think about their future and many young people become a burden to their elderly parents or grandparents.I’m not so smart as to point to solutions, so I just took this time out to share my thoughts while reading your article. Hopefully our nation can reclaim its accolade of the Land of Opportunity in the not too distant future.

Arthur Dolega, CFP Rego Park

A Park? Are You Kidding?
Crowley Can’t even Get a Tree

Editor: A neighbor just sent me a copy of the story Christina Wilkinson wrote about Liz Crowley’s inability to get much needed park areas for our community (Juniper Berry, June/July, 2012). You expect her to get you a park? I am an 82-year-old great grandmother and for over 3 years she has been unable to get one of Bloomy’s “Million Trees” planted in front of my home! And you want a whole park?Yes, I have some very nice letters from her to the Parks Department, along with their replies. “You’re on the list. Be patient.” The last one basically says that the city won’t plant a tree within 20 feet of another tree, a utility pole, a sewer line, a water line, or other street furniture.

Problem here the frontage of the homes on my street is 19 feet! The Parks Department has basically said my street in Maspeth can never have one of Bloomy’s trees. Do the math. Twenty feet encompasses all the Parks Department’s excuses. I have heard no more from Crowley. A run for Congress? Ha, get a shovel, Liz and use it, not for my tree but to clean up after yourself!

Rita Poremsk

I See Problems

To the Editor: I see countless folks ignoring the No Smoking Rules, inside Juniper Valley Park. I see dogs in children’s playground areas, where signs are clearly posted stating it is a “NO DOG” area.  I see many folks with dogs “off leash” during hours, which they are mandated to be “ON” leashes. I see vandalism on the children’s equipment. I see youths sitting on the backs of benches, with their feet on the part of the bench meant to sit on. I see garbage strewn all over the park and dog waste “not” picked up.

Middle Village Resident

Curb Dangers

Editor: Elizabeth Moss stated in the June 2012 issue of the Juniper Berry, “If dog walkers would curb their dogs, fences would not be necessary.”

It is not practical for us to curb our dogs. In fact it is unsafe and unhealthy. There are too many parked cars, which prevents us from using the curb consistently. Meaning, we would have to share the middle of the street with all the car traffic, and too many cars go by quickly and do not slow down. Why should I risk my dog and myself to a possible accident? Also, it is not healthy to allow our dogs to have access to the curb because the dogs can find bones and other garbage, which is not good for their digestion.

Daniel Thom
Middle Village

Stop Can Collectors
To the Editor: It seems that the popular thing today has become for people to check car doors and steal anything inside, including mail or personal data. I have also noticed an increase in can collectors and they have become more brazen coming on to my property to help themselves to anything that is not nailed down.

This morning I heard someone in my yard and looked out the window to see a can collector going through my garbage and making a complete mess. I politely asked them to get off my property but they didn’t listen. I had to go down into my yard and they still wouldn’t leave, it almost got physical since I noticed it wasn’t just cans they are looking for. I noticed they were also interested in mail that I threw out. This is why it should be illegal for people to go through our garbage since you can find out a lot about a person from their garbage. There are more and more of these can collectors, can’t something be done?

I have also heard that people in Maspeth have experienced credit card fraud and it wouldn’t surprise me if the can collecting community was out for more than just the five cent deposit or if it’s just a way to go through our garbage to get something more valuable, like our financial identities.

Iva Pannone

Postal Future

To the Editor: There is a problem facing our community that needs to be addressed – the future of our postal system. We hear all the time that the U.S. Postal Service is losing money but if a proposed bill in Congress, H.R. 2309, is passed, the results will be disastrous. The results of this so-called solution will hurt all of us.

For generations Americans have traditionally relied on six-day service of dependable doorstep delivery of everything from postcards to packages. If Congress passes H.R. 2309, Saturday delivery will be eliminated. In a misguided attempt to purportedly save the USPS, we will inevitably see its rapid decline and eventual death.

The argument in favor of H.R. 2309 is a weak one. The thought is that to save money, you simply cut back on costs and services. As someone who runs a small business, that kind of thinking is nonsense. You have to ask the follow-up question, “What will the impact of those cutbacks be?” Here is where the cutback crowd ignores reality. You can’t cut services, raise prices, and be successful. If you limit the service you offer – especially a growing segment of postal business such as parcel delivery – all that will result is a dangerous disadvantage for the USPS.

The list of H.R. 2309’s negative consequences is lengthy and frightening. It doesn’t acknowledge that business in America is now conducted around the clock. If the USPS Saturday delivery is eliminated, businesses will have to rely on more expensive private services, unnecessarily increasing their costs.

Nor does H.R. 2309 take into account the number of jobs, approximately 80,000, which would be lost. Veterans, a segment already hurt badly by the weak economy, hold many of these jobs.

We can’t afford to lose the USPS. Urge Congressman Turner to vote against H.R. 2309.

Dennis O’Brien
Forest Hills

Mr. Henry

To the Editor: Congratulations to a great writer, Robert Henry. I can’t believe how interestingly he wrote “A Long Way From Home,” Juniper Berry June/July 2012).  He has the ability to make you feel like you are right there when something is happening.  I could actually see the silver gun being pointed at him and feeling the moment of anxiety he felt. I found myself thinking about the article for a while after I read it, wondering what would I have done in a situation like that. Mr. Henry is truly a gifted writer to be able to describe and hold the attention of a reader so intently. He should write a book on short stories, he would be perfect at it. 

Judith Margerum

No Way to Treat Our Veterans

Dear Editor: It was quite evident how I felt when I wrote the letter, No Way to Treat Heroes,” that appeared on Page 14 of the 6/12 Juniper Berry. The article below is an insult to the nth degree to the Wounded Warriors who are currently housed at the St. Albans Veterans Hospital.

Richard Muniak

Gitmo Upgrade: US to spend $40 million on renovation. Despite promises to close Guantanamo Bay, Washington is now preparing to invest tens of millions into renovating the controversial facility’s infrastructure. ­The Pentagon is planning to install a $40-million fiber optic cable at Guantanamo, and the base’s commanders say such a long-term investment in infrastructure makes sense only if the US intends to continue operating the base.U.S. lawyer and attorney, Eric Montalvo, who has represented some of the detainees at Guantanamo, believes the American leadership is totally failing to practice what it preaches.

Moving Wall

Dear Editor: I have been a resident of Middle Village for almost 26 years and I am a Viet Nam veteran.

I want to thank everyone who was involved with getting The Moving Wall brought to Juniper Park and all those who made other contributions to make June 29th through July 2nd a memorable experience for me. I was in the park every one of those days meeting with fellow veterans and remembering my days in Viet Nam. While I was there everyone was respectful and I enjoyed sharing my stories with them and likewise hearing their stories. Thank you also to all the politicians who came to honor the Viet Nam veterans.

There was no garbage being thrown around or left there by the people who visited unlike the way we see the park on a Sunday or Monday morning after residents of Middle Village and non-residents have held parties there. I also noticed that the people who did have their dogs with them kept them on their leash and picked up after them also unlike many residents who feel they don’t have to do that.

This is a beautiful park and we need to keep it this way. Everyone has to work together at all times so the park continues to be one of the best so we can continue to have beautiful events like The Moving Wall and other important functions going on.

Many thanks again for all the hard work put into this event.

I would also like to thank the Juniper Park Civic Association for all the good they do in the community and to say how much I enjoy reading the Juniper Berry.

Tom Bullaro
Middle Village

Park Dog Issues

To the Editor: Today, there were several “unleashed” dogs in Juniper Park, during hours and locations, when leashes are mandatory. Also, one dog owner had an aggressive dog tied to a tree, with a very “thin” adjustable leash, the dog was barking and growling at my dog, as I was walking her on a leash. I was fearful the aggressive dog would be able to snap the thin wire, which the owner had attached around a tree, and injure my dog.

I do not understand why there is not adequate supervision in the park. When I confront Park Staff, they give me a puzzled look as if I am from another planet. There are so many dogs being walked throughout the day in the Juniper Valley Park, folks need to take the rules seriously, for the safety of all.

Name Withheld
on Request

Silver Crest Memories

To the Editor: I was surfing the web and came across Lorraine Sciulli’s column on Silver Crest Farms. I am a third generation milkman who has fond memories of Silvercrest Farms.

Back in the Late 1960’s and 1970’s as a child I was always with my dad at the plant, since my dad, uncles & grandfather all worked for the Schwartz family. I have been searching for any and all photos of the plant and the delivery trucks from that time frame.

Are there any photos that can be forwarded to me for personal memories only? They would never be used commercially. Thank You in advance.

Jimmy Rennick Jr.

Great Concerts
in the Park

To the Editor: I would like to know if there are more concerts in the Park in August.
Italian Night was

Thank you,
Middle Village

Our Park

To the Editor: I am a long time resident of Middle Village. I grew up in this neighborhood and still live here. For the past year I have seen a lot of disturbing things happening around the park, one of them being the amount of garbage people are leaving around the park.  I live on 75th St between the park and Penelope Avenue. I walk my dog every day and night and I constantly see garbage left over from people in the playgrounds and especially people having large parties in the park. These people set up tents and hang balloons on trees and when they are finished, they leave garbage everywhere; balloon strings still tied to trees, juice boxes and plastic straw wrappers, bottles and even diapers from their children.

I understand that we can’t have a Park Department employee stand over these people and watch as they clean up but I think they should be given warnings backed up with fines if they are seen leaving their garbage behind. It has become increasingly bad during this summer particularly on the weekends. The Park Department is not doing their job cleaning up after these people. It is not good enough to just empty the garbage cans scattered around the park. I used to see Park Department employees with sticks or brooms, etc. walking around the park cleaning up garbage. I do not see this anymore.  In addition to this, the curfew is not being enforced by the NYPD.  Kids are hanging out until all hours of the night, drinking, screaming profanities and doing drugs. I see this first hand. Just tonight I had to ask an underage kid to throw out his beer bottle instead of rolling it along the floor for someone else to clean up. 

I have decided to take pictures of the things that I see on a nightly basis. I would like to know what could be done to put pressure on the Park Department to do their job and the NYPD to start doing checks once in a while to make sure kids are not in the park getting into trouble. Thank you.   

Craig Patella
Middle Village

Response: We have spoken to Rene Herrera, Parks Regional Manager for Districts 5 & 6 and he has told us that he will monitor this situation and take the necessary steps to stop the practice of too many people congregating with no park permit and Parks will remove the tents.

MV, Berry Great

To the Editor: I would like to say THANK YOU, for sending me March/ April and June/July Juniper Berry Magazines. I couldn’t wait to open and read them. Since moving from Middle Village I do miss reading your great Juniper Berry. We only lived there ten years but I want to say we loved it.

Everything about Middle Village was so right from your Juniper Park, stores and all the friendly people. We miss you Middle Village. Now we have a new retired life here in Florida but I will never for get you. Thanks again.

Rita Anderson