Giving thanks for the civic
Dear Pat and Ed [Shusterich],

Gail and I want to take this opportunity to thank you both for a lovely Valentine Evening dinner. We had a great time and will never forget your kindness and your invitation to spend the evening with you. We enjoyed talking with you about Grover Cleveland High School and how our neighborhood at large has been maintained as a great place to live and work. We all agree that the Juniper Park Civic Association under the leadership of Bob Holden and his Board of Directors are responsible for the great things that happen in the Middle Village community. We also thank the officers of the 104th Pct. for keeping us safe, with special thanks to Inspector Wachter Commanding Officer.

Very truly yours,
Daniel C. Austin, Chairman of the Board, All Faiths Cemetery

Parking is a nightmare
To Whom It May Concern,
We are writing as taxpaying homeowners who reside in Middle Village. We have a concern regarding a parking situation on our block. 311 has been contacted and stated they couldn't help us so a call was put in to the Queens Borough Commissioner's office. That office put us in touch with “Rich” from the DOT. Rich promised to look into the situation and get back to us in a day or two. Needless to say it has been over a week and no response. We are writing with the hope that you can help with this situation.

Conversion of a one to two family house is taking place at the end of our block, address 64-27 75 St., Middle Village. Approximately 3 weeks ago we No Parking Anytime signs, temporary construction placed from the beginning of the property to the end before the community drive.

We have a few concerns regarding this situation:
First and foremost are the signs legitimate and legal? I had heard from a neighbor that the owner/contractor put the signs there. One sign is placed on the lamp post and the other is on a telephone pole. How can we find out if these signs are legal and legitimate?

Why can't the taxpaying, mortgage-paying residents park there after the construction times? According to construction can occur between the hours of 7:00 a.m. & 6:00 p.m. Please don't tell us that this policy is difficult to enforce because we all know the DOT can ticket and tow the cars and in this way the city makes money.

Why can't the taxpaying, mortgage-paying residents park there on the weekends as construction cannot commence unless a permit is obtained?

Does a permit need to be obtained in order to put signs up? If that is the case, his permits make no mention of parking.

The concern is that parking is already becoming an issue in the neighborhood and now this makes it worse for the residents. By these signs being there, they are taking away at least 6-7 parking spots. Please also note that since the signs were put up there has been NO CONSTRUCTION work taking place. We have included pictures of the signs and the area the signs pertain to.
We would appreciate your looking into this matter and providing us with feedback, which could include a reliable contact that will help to get this issue resolved.

We appreciate your time and attention in this matter and look forward to your reply.

Thank you,
Carl & Alane Caridi, Middle Village

Contractors are allowed to place no parking signs in areas where they are working. We have forwarded your concerns to the Queens DOT Commissioner for investigation. – Ed.

Happy with the Berry
Hi Bob,

I've just gotten my copies of the [March 2017] Berry and it's a wonderful issue! My story looks very good indeed, but I also wanted you to know that I was fascinated by the article on the settling of 'Maspat' in 1642. I always wondered exactly how that came about. Terrific reading and I also loved the map that was included.

Thank you again for publishing my work. In a way, it keeps me writing…

Maxine Fisher

Where’s the green?
Dear Senator,

It was about 20 years ago when the LIE was widened and large sections of greenery were removed and walls were constructed. In the meetings that were held for the locals and NYSDOT it was agreed that trees, shrubs and ivy would be planted to make the wall more pleasing to the eye. The trees and shrubs have grown well although some have died and more could be planted but it’s the ivy which looks so nice that has problems. When there are graffiti removals many times roots are painted over and that kills the ivy. Another problem is that when the ivy climbs all the way to the top of the wall the whole plants topples to the ground because the wall has nothing for the plant to hang onto. This makes a big mess and most likely the plant will be removed. I am hoping DOT can come with a solution because I think the greenery helps with this concrete eyesore and it provides home to wildlife and it helps deaden some and the sounds and air pollution from one of the biggest highways in the USA.

Richard Polgar

Thank you, Richard, for your email regarding the ivy along the LIE. I will contact the NYS DOT and request that it look into this matter. If I can be of any other assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me. – State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr.

Keep the parking rules on Juniper Blvd No.
Hello Mr. Holden,

I'm writing to you with a concern about the “No Parking Overnight” rules on Juniper Blvd No. being taken away as outlined in a recent local newspaper article. I'm a resident on 79th Street near Juniper Blvd No. and the overnight activity in Juniper Park has always been problematic and a quality of life issue for homeowners in the immediate proximity of the park. The overnight rules, over the years, have diminished some of the after-hours hangout, drinking, drugs, etc. and the speed bumps have also helped with the issue of drag racing the length of the park. We still need to work on more police presence overnight — especially during the summer months.

The article mentioned that you would be doing a study on this. I have not seen anything in a public forum or via mail. Can you please provide information on how this has/will take place so that local residents around the park can voice their concerns.

If there is a stance to be taken by the Juniper Civic Association, I would implore you to reject the idea of changing these rules. If parking is an issue, I would suggest that people use their driveways and that the NYC Department of Buildings enforce rules to disallow any conversion of one family attached homes in the area into multiple dwellings (use of garages and basements); this is a bigger problem that no one seems to do anything about.

Thanks for your time. I look forward to hearing back from JPCA.

Stella Derum, Middle Village

Remembering Pete Polonski
I am writing because I found the spring 2017 edition of the Juniper Berry in my parents’ home on a recent visit. Unfortunately, my mother, who loved this magazine, passed away in March 2015. My father is still living at the residence. I lived in this area for 20 years from 1960 to 1980 and moved away for school in 1982. Your article about Pete Polonski was touching.

Pete used to help out on Thursday evenings with the Boy Scouts troop 76 at Resurrection Ascension. He came on many camping trips and loved to tell tall tales of Paul Bunyan. Excellent storyteller and all-around great guy! Excellent outdoorsman. His love of plants was passed on to his son who became a police detective. I worked with his son at the 10 mile river scout camp around 1976. Thank you for including this article in your magazine.

Andrew Guatelli, Carlsbad, CA

Not enough Maspeth
Dear Ms. Wilkinson,

I received the spring issue of the Juniper Berry today and was overjoyed to see Maspeth's anniversary on the cover. Although I've been long gone from Maspeth, I grew up there and my heart is still there.

As I looked through the pages I was disappointed and annoyed to see there were hardly any pictures of my hometown. I see that you concentrate on Middle Village, but Maspeth is older and seems to be overlooked regularly. Please publish more old photos of the streets and houses that were. I lived at 68-17 Clinton Ave. right across from the bank. They tore down my house and erected 2 monoliths, destroying the hometown feel. They paved paradise and made it a parking lot when the bank tore down all the homes across the street from me. I'd love to see a photo of my house and street as it was 50 years ago. I'll keep looking and hoping you'll give Maspeth the proper attention it deserves.

Christina Florie, Setauket NY

There were 17 items about Maspeth and 9 about Middle Village in the March 2017 Juniper Berry. We'd be happy to publish a photo of your home from 50 years ago if you submit one. – Ed.

Calling for an investigation
Dear Senator Addabbo,

I was troubled to read about Catholic school students being summarily denied entry to Maspeth High School. Although amends have been made, something is seriously wrong with the process. Was it merely a “clerical error,” or is there more to this story?

Please call for an investigation of this matter. All New Yorkers deserve to know how something like this can happen, and no segment of the population deserves to know more than Catholics.

Thank you for your consideration.

William A. Donohue, Ph.D., President, Catholic League

Memories of Midville
Dear Mr. Holden,

I lived in Middle Village from the early 1950s until 1970 at 68-47 76 street. I attended PS 87 and graduated in 1959. The principals were Mr. Mecklenburg and later on Mr. Lichtenstein. We had the choice of attending Newtown high or Grover Cleveland. I graduated from Newtown in 1963. Each day I rode the Dry Harbor Road bus the Q29 back-and-forth. Metropolitan Avenue had great stores. Scheinfeld’s Men’s and Women’s stores, Midville Hardware, Willie's Deli which was previously located on 75th St. and 67th Ave., Averack's appliance store on 75th St. and Metropolitan Avenue, A & P and Bohack which were across the street from each other. My friends and I played stickball, punch ball and football on 78th St. and 76th St. We had three synagogues within a radius of three blocks. We had 4 grocery stores and three candy stores. One of the candy stores was Nick and Andy's on 75th St. We purchased our Spaldings and Pensy Pinkies for our ball games. We purchased ice cream and egg creams at the candy store. I attended after school Hebrew school on 75th St. which was called the Hebrew institute. We had numerous bakeries including Kopp’s on Metropolitan Avenue. The area was comprised mainly of Jewish and Italian people. Everyone knew each other which was great. Every week we rode the Triboro Q38 bus to Alexander's in Rego Park for the latest record sales. We would walk up to Juniper Valley Park to play on the concrete and dirt field. My dad came with me on Sunday mornings to teach me how to play ball. I love Juniper and presently my best friends live in that area. I still love Middle Village.

Mel Perlmutter, Oakland Gardens, NY

Trash on the Tracks
From the conversation we had last year, I am sending you images of “trash on the tracks” has a ring to it. I photographed a section of track between Eliot Ave. and Juniper Blvd. South. The section of track between 74th Street and Eliot Ave is the worst. With summer approaching, the possibility of track fires increases. The concern should be the pile of approx. 20 to 25 tires in the brush just behind Phillies.

Patrick McCarthy, Middle Village

Keep open access to Metrocard machines
The following was sent to CB5 and Council Member Crowley:

With the proposed track work on the M line with the repairs of the Bridge between Metro and Fresh Pond, it was brought to my attention by a Retired Transit worker that the stations at both Metro and Fresh Pond will be boarded up closed denying Riders the access to put money on their Metro Cards, or purchase new ones.

This work on the Bridge does not affect the stations booths and should not be allowed to be closed. Riders taking the Buses, Q38, Q54 and Q67 would not be allowed to put more money on their Metro cards. This needs to be discussed with the MTA to insist that the stations be left open so riders have the option to be allowed to continue using the full service of the Metro card services.

With the work that will be taking place, this puts a strain on the passengers for travels to and from the City. Please see and speak to the MTA in not closing those stations. If any questions or concerns regarding this, please reach out to me and can discuss it further.
As always, thanks in advance on your continued help and support on this matter.

Vito Cascione, Middle Village

Bikes be gone
Hi Bob, well after a few calls to 311 and a few to Crowley the derelict bikes are finally gone, only took 13 months. If you think you could do better you have my vote ha ha.

Richard Polgar

Illegal trucks pulling down power lines
Hi! We have had 2 incidents over the last week with LARGE trucks coming down our block pulling down wires. I have called 311 twice and both times the fire department had to be called in.

I am located on 61st Drive Between 69th Street and 69th Place.

69th Place is not supposed to have trucks on it but they are coming down anyway to avoid the construction on 69th Street and Elliot Ave and in the process coming down my block pulling down lines.

So far they have only taken down our Verizon and old cable lines but they have also come very close to also pulling down power lines. Now many of the lines are hanging very low and I would like to avoid the dangers that will come from down power lines.

What can we do to solve this issue?

Tricia Gaudio, Middle Village