Missing My Middle Village

Dear Lorraine:
Just a little note to say “hello.” Remember me? Formally from Cross County Federal Savings (first desk by the front door). I had to retire and move to NJ to be close to my daughter. She had a brain aneurysm and a stroke.
There is not a day that I don’t miss and think of Middle Village and everyone there. The Juniper Berry magazine helps me to still be a part of the neighborhood where I grew up from 1940-2006.
Hope all is well and wishing you a Happy New Year.

Anita Calceglia
New Jersey

Dear Anita – I certainly do remember you and your smiling face welcoming people into Cross County Savings. I hope your daughter is better and I’m glad that you have a connection with the old neighborhood via the Juniper Berry. It doesn’t come more “hometown” than the Juniper Berry and we hear quite often how former residents love the connection they continue with the neighborhood via the Juniper Berry.

Lorraine Sciulli

Trestle warning & The Berry Best

I am a member of the JPCA. I lived in Glendale 1944-1968 and my Aunt and Uncle (Riley) lived on 78th Street in Middle Village from 1927-1952.
Just finished the Juniper Berry Nov-Dec 2010 issue and noted in the Hall of Shame (page 70) the train trestle over Calamus Ave. These trestles all look rather old (1920’s- 30’s) and rusted with unknown structural soundness. I wonder what continuous parking of freight trains on top of these rusted structures does to the soundness of their safety? Could these freight trains add to the possibility of their failure? Is there a federal rule or regulation forbidding such stress adding parking on top of these trestles?
I enjoy reading the local papers of Queens and Brooklyn and yours is by and far the best there is. You are truly a voice for the people.

Thankfully yours,
George Baker
Flushing, NY

Keep on Tracking

Thanks to all of you at JPCA for your conscientious tracking of all that happens in our community. Those who govern us need a constant reminder that a public office is a public trust. Your vigilance does that. We are grateful.

Judith Sherry
Middle Village

Raccoon invasion

I live on 84th Place off of 58th Avenue. There is a real problem with the raccoons …it started out with one or two now there are six that go through my yard every night.
I feel bad for these animals because they are hungry and looking for food (and honestly when you see the baby and the two, I’ll say mother and father, it really is something else, they stick together and follow each other) but by the same token they are becoming brazen.  At 6:00 am the other morning I heard noises in the yard and when I looked out there was a raccoon under my window that had knocked down two dishes that I had on hooks very high on the brick wall; he ripped into the plastic bags I have hanging that I use for when I sweep the yard; I knocked on the window to scare it away but instead it came up to the window standing on its back legs looking at me.  
I’ve been feeding a stray cat now for about two years and before it gets dark I take the food and water away because I know the raccoons will come through.  Well last night I look out and there are 2 raccoons sitting on my table eating the cat’s food; I tried to shoo them away but they wouldn’t budge; I finally opened the door a little and made some noises and they left. 
In the summer you can’t sit in the yard after dark because the raccoons will soon be coming through…I don’t think we need to live our lives around the animals.
Why can’t these animals be captured and taken upstate; they don’t belong here in the city and will eventually get hurt.  I am a big animal lover and don’t want to see any animal hurt but again the city is not for them.

Thank You!
Jeanne Digangi
Middle Village

Thanks for the Maspeth memories

Dear Friends,
I recently became acquainted with your magazine and I’m a real fan. I was born in Maspeth in 1943, lived next door to Richard Polgar at 57-30 73 Street, attended P.S. 73 and Grover Cleveland H.S.
Richard’s wonderful article brought back so many memories of a safe, sweet time in my life. Around me were family and friends, many gone now and like me, married and eventually moved to own my home here in northern NJ. My brother, Gary is the second from left, back row, in Richard’s school photo.
Richard and his mom, have great memories and I called to tell him so and thank him personally. My sincere thanks to you all. I’m planning a spring Grand Avenue week thanks to you.

Phyllis A. M. Hughes
Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ

Train trashing us

Hello Bob (Holden):
I was reading with interest the article from Forum West, by Eric Yum: “Relief from Diesel Soot in Glendale.”
  It is really sad, that regular citizens have to tell the railroad company what to do. They have no common sense, or they are only money hungry. The garbage trains still travel through Middle Village with uncovered railcars resulting in plastic bags and debris falling off the cars.
I must say, that only about 40 percent of railcars are covered up with orange plastic netting. Last week I was in Stop & Shop on Union Turnpike. From the upper parking level I saw a garbage train coming from the direction of Long Island. All of the railcars were loaded with construction debris and not covered up. Here you have it, the garbage is not even from here.
We still have idling garbage trains in Middle Village, to be exact just passed the Eliot Avenue bridge. This idling takes place mostly in the morning hours. I will send you a record of the days and times.

Dieter Keppler
Middle Village


Principal Lombardi mentioned that next year (2011) there might be not enough room in the PS/IS 49 school to house the entire K-through-8th grades despite the recent construction/expansion of the new building. He explained that the school received an influx of students this year from the neighboring Catholic schools and that there are probably students enrolled in the school who are not even zoned for it.
There is talk that the kindergarten classes, and possibly another grade, might have to be moved to an 'annex' building somewhere else in the neighborhood – perhaps St. Margaret's, or house the classes in makeshift classrooms inside trailers parked in the schoolyard.
Middle Village parents, with soon-to-be kindergartners, who are zoned for PS/IS49 don't seem to be aware of this problem. And I believe it will become a major issue when parents begin the application process next March (which is just months away) for signing up their kids for kindergarten at PS/IS49 — that perhaps there might not even be enough room for kindergarten classes at the school.
This is something that your association might want to look into as I think the issue needs to be looked into and discussed.


Snow Reason to Plow over & Over

Mr. Holden,
I live on 71st between Juniper Blvd South & Penelope… here is my complaint at 6:15 AM , I cleared some snow to drive my wife to work… I have all wheel… I see two guys clearing snow in the middle of my block. I then hire them to clean my driveway, sidewalk and front porch, they did a magnificent job. By mid- morning the sanitation plow coming off Juniper South, with snow from the main road dumps it in my driveway. Okay, I expect that. Late morning I clean the wall of snow. Between the salt trucks, the sun and temperature at 35 degrees there is black-top showing. Not one flake of snow is in my driveway.
At 2:30 am January 13th the snow plow comes yet again from the boulevard, blade turned right angle in, dumps wall of snow AGAIN!! Mr. Holden, not only does the snow turn rock-hard, my wife gets stuck briefly in her car going to work at 6:00AM. Is there any reason the plows continue to plow where they are not needed? Are they doing overkill because of the Christmas blizzard? It's not only exhausting, it's overtime money waste. It's insane how many times I have to shovel out snow! Something has got to be be done. I would appreciate any input you can give or do I write (Council Member) Crowley again?

Thanks in advance
John Citrangolo
Middle Village

Snow saving parking spaces

After reading the recent Daily News story highlighting the practice of saving parking spaces in Middle Village and looking around my neighborhood i came to one conclusion–many people who feel they are entitled to a parking spot in front of their house because they shoveled their vehicle out after a snow storm are in possession of more than one vehicle. Most homes in Middle Village have driveways as well as garages. These same folks can park in their driveway or garage but apparently that's not enough space for them. When someone “saves” a space with garbage cans or anything else they are usually the same people who own a vehicle that is parked in front of someone else's home and the cycle of parking shortages begins. These Middle Village streets and homes were not meant for parking 3, 4 and sometimes 5 large vehicles per home but quite often that is the case.
On 81st Street one family occupying a home that fronts 18 feet on the street owns 4 vehicles, 2 of which are vans and this is the same person reserving a spot in front of his own home with garbage cans. It seems to me this practice is downright selfish and disrespectful of his neighbors who are expected to park possibly blocks away from their own nearby home for the sake of one person's convenience who chooses to own and park 4 vehicles on the same street and yes, there is a driveway and garage behind this home as there is in most others.
I for one think the present law of New York City which prohibits reserving parking spaces should be strongly enforced as it is regardless of longstanding neighborhood practices that don't work as this only fuels fights and resentment. People should respect their neighbors and take into account the size of these homes, streets and neighborhood before they accumulate multiple vehicles and demand a reward of reserved parking in front of their home because they shoveled their vehicle out and don't believe others are entitled to park there.

Mark Grilli
Middle Village

Bogus Obama Hidden Tax

The Nov./Dec. 2010 issue of The Juniper Berry ran a letter titled “Obama's Hidden Tax.” The writer claims the Health Care Bill contained a Federal sales tax on real estate transactions.
Although technically true, the example he cites is totally false.
His example is a word for word reprint of a false e-mail that has been circulating.
The federal tax actually applies to a married couple who realize a profit of over $500,000.
Even then the tax only applies to the portion of the profit in excess of a half million dollars.
It is very unlikely that the sale of any home in our area would be subject to this tax.

Bob McGee
Middle Village

Forget Dog runs…
Use $ to save pets

I think future funds would be better used to save pets lives. One more reason funds for a Juniper Park dog run is a waste of valuable money.
Budget cuts force animal shelters to stop taking lost reports, will no longer search for lost pets.
It just got a lot tougher for lost pets to find their way home.

Middle Village

That’s my mom!

Dear Mr Holden,
Please e-mail me the photograph of “Maspeth children in front of the Grand Card Shop in 1949” on page 32 of the the Juniper Berry. My mother, Jennie Kosman Wisniewski, is in the background.

Thank you,
Richard Wisniewski

tree hazard

I am writing to you today to ask for your assistance. Many years ago, New York City planted a tree in front of my home on 72nd Street. I have had problems with this tree for many years. I cannot park on the street in front of my home because the tree limbs hang very low and the tree drops sap on anything surrounding the street. The fallen leaves from the trees are a nuisance and have caused flooding in my basement. More importantly, the tree roots have raised the sidewalk more than three inches, causing a hazard. On December 19, 2009, I fell over the raised concrete. Although I am aware of defect in the sidewalk, I recently fell yet again. I am asking for help before someone incurs even more serious injuries than I.
Over the past seven years I have called 311 many times. I have filed a Notice of Claim with New York City Comptroller's office and have written several letters to city officials. To date, the city has done nothing to repair the sidewalk.
After making all of these complaints, I feel the city of New York should take responsibility for the problem caused by its tree. I have lived in my home for more than 40 years. I did not request the tree be to planted, I did not plant the tree, and I am not allowed to maintain the tree. In a conversation on May 3, 2010 with the ‘311’ Hotline office, I was told that I am “allowed to repair the sidewalk at my own expense; but the tree will continue to grow and the sidewalk repair will probably be destroyed by the end of the year.”
What has to happen before the tree is maintained, the roots and branches are trimmed and the defects caused by the tree are repaired? The City of New York disclaims any responsibility for the defect caused by a tree owned by the City and the medical expenses I have incurred. If repairing the cement will not correct the problem, and I am forbidden from correcting the cause of the defect, namely trimming the tree roots or having the tree removed, what am I to do? I cannot afford the repairs I am permitted to have performed. I need the City to intervene and make the proper repairs now.
I am now appealing to the Civic Association to assist me in any way possible before someone else is injured.
Thank you in advance for advocating on my behalf.

Yours truly,
Pasquale Armetta
Kudos to Cotoia Construction

Dear Editor,
Thank you for the business spotlight article on J. Cotoia Construction! My husband and I had wanted to renovate our kitchen, but after a contractor “nightmare” experience five years ago, we decided to pass on any more major construction in our home. However, after reading your article, we thought that we’d call Joey for an estimate. We accepted his proposal and we now have a beautiful new kitchen!!!
I can’t say enough good things about Joey and his team – his work is superior, along with an outstanding work ethic and furthermore, he took great care in respecting our home and ensured that when the job was completed, everything was vacuumed and furniture put back in its proper place. We are happy to say that we now have a contractor that we know and trust. How fortunate for us that we are able to use someone so rooted in this community. Thank you again for pointing us in the right direction.

Linda & Larry Abels
Middle Village