Memories of Freedomland

Dear Ms. Sciulli:
What a beautiful story about Freedomland. It brings back some wonderful memories. My late dad Jim Tobin was a plumber in Local 2. He took turns turning on and putting out the Chicago Fire. We had many free passes so we went there many times. My mom’s favorite was Elsie the Cow. When we had out of town visitors the first place we took them to was Freedomland.
My daughter and her husband, Kim and Bob Doremus, live in Middle Village since they were married in 1978.
They know how much I enjoy the Juniper Berry so they always save it for me. I find Middle Village a great town and really enjoy your stories. Thank you,

Joan Williams

Where’s the Speed Bump?

To the Editor:
I was hit by a car on 10/31/08 and sent a letter to Elizabeth Crowley and there was supposedly a study done to see if they would put a speed bump on 71st Street. Well as of today, June 14, 2010, 1 1/2 years later nothing has been done! What is it going to take? Someone getting killed? Elizabeth Crowley talks big but all that comes out is a whole lot of nothing! Thank you.

Donna Cassillo

Response: Council Member Elizabeth Crowley’s office is actively pursuing a speed bump on 71st Street just north of Eliot Avenue and has been advised by the DOT Commissioner that although the bump has been approved for installation, budget constraints are in play and when money becomes available the speed bump will be installed.

Bob Doocey
To the Editor:
I was reading the Juniper Berry June/July issue – I read that Robert Doocey passed away but it doesn’t give a date when he died – it states when he was born but not when he died.
By the way, I really enjoy reading the Juniper Berry and do attend some of the community meetings at Our Lady of Hope. You all do a great service for the community and it is very much appreciated. Thank you,

Mary Rosenbaum
Middle Village

Response – Bob Doocey passed away on May 23, 2010. He was a wonderful person and neighborhood volunteer, and we all miss him terribly.

Unleashed Arrogance
Dear Editor,
Your article about the thugs with their dogs off their leashes was right on the money. Every time my wife and I, or our leashed dogs, are attacked by  unleashed dogs the offending owners treat us as if we’re the ones at fault. My wife and I have been cursed at and threatened with bodily harm. I can’t even print the filthy language the unleashed dog owners use. Yes, the owners need to be leashed too; in the very least muzzled. I only wish the 104 Pct. would patrol the area these people use when the dogs are supposed to be leashed. An ideal time would be from 4pm to 8pm any day of the week. The tickets they could write would solve the city’s budget problems. Till something is done to remove the threat of uncontrollable dogs and their owners, warn the law abiding citizens to be careful and protect themselves, their children and their leashed dogs.

Sincerely yours
Phil Guiffre
Middle Village
PS I miss the days before the great social breakdown and people respected the law and others. 

Harassed by
Off-Leash Pit Bull
To the Editor:
I had an incident at the hockey rink on August 1, 2010. My son, six-years-old, was playing in the rink and a pit bull was off its leash inside the rink and nearly attacked him. He is presently in shock from the incident. As we were leaving another pit bull dog owner had done the same thing, allowing the dog to run around off its leash. The hockey rink has not been used for hockey for several years; however it has become a good place for a dog run. Are there any plans to use the space for a more useful purpose? I thank god that he was not harmed as it would have been a tragedy but don’t know how he is mentally coping with the incident, he is presently crying and I am trying to console him. Very

Truly Yours,
Joseph J Foley

Children Dirtier than Dogs?
To the Editor:
Subject: response to “Not A Dog Drinking Fountain”
(Juniper Berry letters, June 2010) I am a nurse at NYU, and a proud owner of a small Chihuahua that I bring to Juniper Valley Park on a daily basis. I was dismayed to read Mary Jones’ letter about dogs drinking from “HUMAN” water fountains. 
I would like to remind Ms. Jones that a dog’s mouth contains approximately three times the amount of white blood cells that a human has in their entire body, and since WBCs are the body’s defense against germs and bacterial invasion, this would signify a more clean atmosphere in a dog’s mouth, as opposed to humans. Furthermore, the Centers For Disease Control have released numerous studies that show that the number one subgroup of our population responsible for the highest rate of infection and disease communication amongst humans, are children between the ages of 4 and 12. While I do not allow my dog to drink from the water fountain, I myself would not drink from the fountain because of the numerous children who put their mouths all over the waterspout, thus contaminating it. Thank you and please teach your children to wash their hands frequently and to keep their germs to themselves.

Karen Hickey
Response no matter what the explanation is about humans vs. dogs at the water fountain, dogs are not permitted to drink from any water fountain in any city park. ed.

PS 102 Memories
To the Editor:
Subject: Great article
A friend who lives in Maspeth was thoughtful enough to send me a copy of your June/July issue. I read it cover to cover since I related to many of the articles printed. I particularly liked the article by Robert Henry regarding P.S.102. Well written and so factual. Being a graduate of P.S.102 (class of 1948) it brought back many memories. Congratulations on a great publication.

Walt Schoelkopf
Matawan NJ

Memories of Marge
Dear Editor:
I’m writing this letter in reference to the article published in the June-July issue 2010 of the Juniper Berry written by Tanya M. Hoos, daughter of Mrs. Margaret Magnus who died in 2007.

I can testify to the kindness of her wonderful mother Margaret who came to my assistance when my wife was taken ill.

How do you thank a friend who always has been there for you no matter how hard or frightening your situation may have been? When there is no one you can turn to for solace or comfort she was always there so you never felt alone in a world where life is anything but easy. I may not be able to thank her personally but maybe I can do something that will show my appreciation one day.

She will always be remembered by me and my family and friends. She touched the hearts of all who knew her.

Sincerely, yours,
Benjamin Schiff
Middle Village

Poor Customer Service

To the Editor:
I would like to share an experience I recently had at one of our Middle Village businesses. I would like to alert the residents of Middle Village of my experience in the Verizon Authorized Dealer on Eliot Avenue by 80th Street.

On a recent Saturday, my husband, daughter, and I went in to upgrade our cell phones. The man behind the counter was serving another family and we patiently waited for our turn. Not once did this man look up to welcome us or to state that he would be with us as soon as possible. The only looks we got were the rolling of the eyes and an expression of anger. We stayed back, away from the other family’s transactions, so we just assumed that perhaps they were driving this poor guy crazy. When it was finally our turn, I walked over and stated that my family was in need of upgrades, and behold, the rolling of the eyes, the heavy sigh and exasperation! We let that go! As he is looking up our account on the computer, he is texting! We let that go! For each of our questions, he gave one-word answers (still with the sighs) and didn’t even try to disguise that we were there to annoy him! We let that go! Please understand, I normally don’t let these things go unaddressed, but we had waited for 90 minutes to be taken and we just wanted to get the upgrades and leave.

His lack of service and help with our questions on the different choices was truly unfortunate! At this point, our goal was just to get this done, we chose the phones, which were clearly marked with the prices. For example, the phone we chose was marked at $79.99 after a $50.00 rebate. First, he tells us, that it’s $129.99 after the rebate, which I pointed out is not what the label states. He proceeds to get nasty, goes on the computer and tells us that the prices had changed and the person before him didn’t change the cards! I state, that as long as the prices are clearly listed, he has to honor that price. He said there was nothing he could do about it.

As my husband and I are discussing if we can afford to pay that higher price, my husband asked again for a confirmation of the $129.99 price and to our surprise, the man asks what $129.99 price, that phone is $250.00 less the $50.00 price. We asked him to come to the display, which he did, with heavy sighs, to show him the $79.99 price. He would not respond, except to say, “that’s the price take it or leave it!” I have never been treated so shamefully by a Middle Village business! I proceeded to tell him that his customer service was lacking and that his door should not be open to customers at one price only to scam them once they are inside. I believe it is against the law to falsely advertise!

I asked to speak to a manager, and he first states he’s the owner. We asked then for a business card showing his name, if he is the owner, which of course he could not do. He threatened to call the cops on us, which I said go ahead, I only asked for your name and business card! I asked again, for his name and all he would say is Alan. Then he says he’s not the owner just a worker. We could not get any kind of straight answer from this man. He then physically throws a business card (with no name) to my husband, and again states he will call the cops and again, I said please do!

What an awful experience this was. I love all the businesses around my home, have never had any problems with any. Each and every store knows me by face if not by first name, they know my husband and daughter. I have taught my daughter that in the event of anything, she can go to any of these businesses for help now, except for the Verizon store! PS – I found out later Alan is the manager of this store! I still cannot believe the treatment we received but most of all the scam of trying to sell us a phone at such a higher price. What can we do about this? I don’t want another resident to be fooled by the pricing in there. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. I have called Verizon who logged in the complaint, but unfortunately this guy is an authorized dealer, not working for Verizon themselves. On the other side of the coin, the next day we went to Verizon on Austin Street in Forest Hills and what a pleasurable experience we had. Upon entering, the manager Angel came right up to welcome us, helped us by showing us all the choices & how best each would suit our needs, then he walked us over, introduces us to the service rep who would take care of us, his name was Yansen and with all respect he handled our transactions with courtesy. It’s a shame, that we could not get this service from the one in Middle Village! PS – the phone we upgraded to was the same one @ $79.99 after the $50.00 rebate, exactly as marked! Thank you for allowing me this long email. Hopefully residents of Middle Village will not get scammed by this vendor! Respectfully submitted,

Lori McGreevey
Middle Village
Response: Report your experience to the Better Business Bureau and stay away from any business that treats you disrespectfully as a consumer. You should have left the store at the first scowl from the Verizon employee. You have warned others and that’s a good first step at discipline for shabby service in the Verizon store on Eliot Avenue and 80th Street in Middle Village. ed.

Park Bench Bully
Dear Editor,
I just wanted to write to you regarding an incident that happened to me today. I sat down on a bench today in the new children’s playground at Juniper Valley Park with my friend. We chose the bench because it was closest to the area our children were playing in. The man who was sitting on the other half of the bench verbally confronted us, stating that we were rude and had no business sitting on his bench. It is difficult to imagine how any person could behave in this manner towards two women caring for their children in a playground. One of the things that I love about Middle Village is that we are a close-knit neighborhood. I have lived here for over 10 years. Juniper Valley Park is one of the greatest assets. I hope that people will remember that the only way that we can keep it this way is by respecting our neighbors as well as our park. These are values that we should try to instill in our children and as adults we need to set the example.

Middle Village

Maspeth Memories
Dear Editor,
I really enjoyed reading Mr. Stines story about Maspeth! I grew up on Grand Avenue in Maspeth, NY. I lived there for 10 yrs. until we moved to Commack, LI.  Do you have any sites available for me to visit regarding events during the 1940s and 1950s in Maspeth?  I am doing a lot of family research and would like to know if there is any info about a fire at a florist that my Grandpa used to own in Maspeth. His name was Benjamin Jaglinski. Please let me know about any other historic articles you might have about that time period! Thanks!

Lorraine Walker

To the Editor:
Today I received a copy of the Juniper Berry (June /July 2010) from my very dear friend who lives in Glendale. I especially enjoyed the article about Elmhurst by Robert Henry. It brought back many fond childhood memories.
I was born in Manhattan in 1946 and we used to take the family car rides every Sunday when one day we discovered Fairyland. It was a thrill for my brother and myself. The only rides we were used to were on the back of the rickety small trucks that used to come down East 66th Street in the City every once in a while or, as a special treat when we went to Central Park and rode on the carousel.

Anyway, from riding around the neighborhood, my parents found a house for sale in Elmhurst.

In 1955 my parents, grandparents, aunt, uncle and my brother and myself moved into our first house on 54th Avenue between Van Horn and Haspel Streets. We attended Ascension School and enjoyed a very happy childhood in a lovely neighborhood. Most of our shopping was done at Bruno’s Delicatessen on Grand Avenue and sometimes on Sundays after 12:15 Mass at Ascension Church, we’d go to the candy store also on Grand Avenue and sit at the counter and enjoy our ice cream soda. My bother also attended the Queensborough Institute of Music on Woodhaven Boulevard where he learned to play and later also taught the accordion.
As a teenager I attended Newtown High School and my brother went to Archbishop Molloy H.S. He played the accordion and did perform at many local occasions including at Niedersteins.

I got married in September of 1968 also in Ascension Church and my husband and I moved into an apartment on Eliot Avenue in Middle Village until April of 1970 when we moved upstate into the town of Saugerties N.Y.

Of course my two sons are all grown now and my mother, grandparents, aunt, brother and my husband have all passed but I wanted you to know that reading these articles in your magazine brought back some very pleasant memories. Thank you,

Yours truly
Margaret Marinzulich Johnson