Thanks for Courage in Opposing Weiner

To the Juniper Park Civic Association:
Thank you so much for having the courage to protest against Anthony Weiner. I was thrilled to at last see people in his district (on TV yesterday) protesting and calling for his resignation. It seems as though the press has been focusing on just those in his district who support him. Also, thanks very much to Lorraine Sciulli for her excellent article posted at your website, which summarizes the whole debacle surrounding Weiner. I reside in Manhattan and therefore am not a constituent of his but nonetheless have been enraged at his behavior and the lack of response calling for his resignation by our two U.S. Senators and other U.S. (NYC) Congressional representatives.

I have been unemployed for over two years, pay over a thousand dollars a month in health insurance premiums and as a liberal who has admired Weiner for years and anticipated supporting him if he ran for mayor of NYC, have really been devastated by his actions and his now obvious lack of real concern for the problems of the middle class. I guess it was really always about him and not us.

Jan Kenyon

Response: Understand, Jan, that all elected officials vote on using your tax dollars, even Weiner in the 9th Congressional District, so you have every right to be disgusted with his behavior. ed.

To the Editor:
Even though I am not a constituent, thank you JPCA!
Weiner is a disgrace. Who would have guessed the term “crotch-shot” would have become known to every household in this country due to the indiscretions of a member of the United States Congress. What mother, sister, aunt or grandmother has not seen this story?
Weiner is the essence of what people who live outside of New York dislike about our great city: shrill, nasty and untrustworthy.
He is an embarrassment.
David Cain

Response: Disgraceful elected officials are not unique to New York. We have them in every branch of government from all over the United States. Slowly but surely they are being weeded out. We have to learn to weed out the bad guys more thoroughly before giving them our precious vote.

wrong about weiner

To the Editor:
Re: Weiner Resignation
You people aren't the brightest bunch in the lot. You're trying to force out a tireless worker in Congress, for a personal mistake. It never affected his ability to work for you. You are as weak as our party’s failure of a leader, Pelosi. When your area is set up for redistricting, know there are those that will not give a damn about it, or you.

With no Regards,
Rafael Diaz Reyes
Moab, Utah

Response: Your conclusion that “it never affected his ability to work for you,” is laughable. How do you know that? Are you privy to every issue that came before Weiner while he was having his moments with himself? Anyone who is stupid enough to post perverted pictures of himself on the Internet is not playing with a full deck, so to speak, and we should always demand and expect honesty from our elected officials. Anthony Weiner marginalized himself.
Tennis-Bocce beef

Shame on you complaining, about no fee bocce and shuffleboard (“Tennis Fees Gone Wild.”– Juniper Berry June/July 2011). Do you see who plays those games? The elderly who over the years paid there fair share of taxes and fees to this city. Lest you forget they are on fixed incomes some barely eating. Most people on the tennis courts are able body earners who can afford a paltry $200 fee to play. Where else are you going to play tennis in NYC for $200? Nowhere! Great idea Lorraine put in into the parks department’s head to charge for that too.
As far as the condition of the tennis courts use your Berry influence to make Parks repair them. Or call Community Board 5 and file a complaint.

Anthony Masi

Response: Anthony, the next time you feel motivated to write a surly, sarcastic letter to the JPCA let me encourage you to get your facts straight. I never suggested that fees be imposed for playing bocce and I never mentioned shuffleboard at all. To pay a fee of $200 to play tennis on dilapidated courts is disgraceful and the $1.1 million to rehabilitate the bocce and handball courts in Juniper Park is a disgraceful use of our taxpayer money. My article on our website and in the Juniper Berry was our “Berry influence to make Parks repair them.” Shame on you, Anthony Masi, for being too quick to criticize when it’s you, who doesn’t understand what you read. – L. Sciulli

To the Editor
Hello, I totally agreed with your article regarding Juniper Park tennis courts. Today I sent an e-mail to Mr. Benepe of NYC Department of Parks. The contact e-mail allowed me to write only 150 words but there was so much more I wanted to say to him. Here is my and many other tennis players’ opinion on what is going on in Juniper Park.

Dear Mr. Benepe:
I assume that I will not be the first person who would bring to your attention the incredible waist of moneys, which were put into the Juniper Park handball and were recently redone and repaired. Middle Village is a very close community and it is painful to see that the taxpayer’s moneys are simply wasted in such hard times for our country and our city. The work was finished, redone again, and finally completed. And, what was the result of this investment?

Every player who is using this wall would tell you that it is in worse condition then before the repairs. It seems that whoever won a bid for this project had no experience or skills to do such a job. The wall is not even, which makes it almost impossible to practice; the surface is so bad that it is ripping players’ sneakers.

Another issue is the tennis courts. The clogged drains do not allow playing on these courts for several days after a heavy rain since they were not cleaned in several years. The courts are in such bad condition that people keep sliding and falling down on cracked, slippery surface. There are no employees of the Department of Parks to check the tennis permits which put people who did purchase the $200.00 permits this season in the situation that they cannot enjoy the sport which they love since anyone without the permit could just walk on the court and occupy it. It would be nice to see you take a trip to this wonderful park and see with your own eyes what is going on.

Larisa Dombrowski

bravo for
concert series

Dear Mr. Holden:
I just came home from an evening at the Juniper Valley Park Concert series. I thoroughly enjoyed this last show of the concert season. They were so entertaining.
The Italian American music of the Gio Venuto Band was the best I’ve seen or heard in a long time. The weather was perfect, cool and comfortable. There must have been a thousand or more people attending. The dance floor was crowded with people of all ages. Everyone was swinging and swaying. There was a slight interruption due to a short power outage. We were all so sad but in a few minutes the lights were back on again and the music continued. We all began to cheer.

I didn’t bring my own lawn chair. However, a lovely lady saw me standing and she offered me an empty chair that was beside her. She told me it was for her husband, Ed Kampermann. When he returned he told me to sit there and not to worry because he was busy with the JPCA. I was very grateful that I was able to sit and watch the entertainment. Sorry you missed the show. It really was spectacular. Looking forward to next summer. We missed you and Amy,

Celia Carrano
Middle Village

Dear Bob (Holden),
First and foremost I want to say, Thank You to you and all of the JPCA Board. You all work so hard to keep this community together and I'm proud to have gotten to know all of you. Being a part of the summer concerts just shows me how united we all are. They were wonderful, being a part of it with Crifasi Real Estate and meeting new friends brought me sincere joy. I laughed and met all kinds of wonderful people (as I called them my new “PEEPS”)! We are an incredible community and I am proud to be a part of it. So, I say to all whom I met and laughed with and who took my cards, (and some who may even wall paper their living rooms with them) thanks for the memories, see you next year!

Cindy Danielski
Middle Village

St. Margaret’s History

To the Editor: Greetings from Tokyo, Japan
Re: Article on your website entitled: “A Short History of St. Margaret's Parish” by Matt R. Ciancimino

I found your article while doing some family history research. I was hoping you might be able to help me on some information I'm trying to track down.

My mother told me that my great-great-grandmother, Margaretha Reis, (nee Bitzermann) may have had something to do with the early establishment of St. Margaret's Church. Her husband was my great-great-grandfather Michael Anthony Reis.

I was wondering if you might have any information to support this or alternatively if you could direct me to someone who might?

Thanks for whatever assistance you can render. Best regards,

Tony Del Vecchio

311’s Broken

Dear Moira,
I just received a copy of the flier announcing the June 22nd 311Town Hall Meeting. While I appreciate the effort to inform the public about 311, which gives interested parties a chance to ask questions, the agenda doesn't appear to be addressing the real 311 problems. That problem is not with the 311 system but rather with the responding agencies, specifically the 104th precinct.

As I have pointed out and documented many times to Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and various members of her staff, one specific problem is that 104th fails to respond to quality of life issues and openly misrepresents the status of 311 calls in order to close them out. Unfortunately, it appears that the 104th will not be attending the meeting. If that is the case then this meeting will do nothing to address the lack of attention provided by the 104th Precinct to 311 calls nor, will it address the misrepresentation of 311 report closures.

As you may remember when we spoke several weeks ago about the vehicle on my block parked directly in front of a fire hydrant for two days, neither calls to the 104th (2 calls one to the desk and another a message left for Officer Thomas Bell) nor a 311 report resulted in any action. But the 311 report was closed out inaccurately stating that the Police responded and “fixed the problem.” The car was still parked in front of the hydrant, without a ticket, the next morning. If Council Member Crowley is really interested in fixing “311” she needs to fix the problem of the 104th which was brought to her attention over two years ago.

Augie Trinchese
Middle Village

Vacant House redux

Dear Editor:
In the June/July 2011 issue of Juniper Berry, you published a letter from a Carol Daleo. In this letter she talks about a vacant house. I don't know Carol or the person who owns the house of which she speaks; however, I feel it was unethical for you to publish the address of this house. By doing so you may have alerted thieves, looters, graffiti “artists,” people looking for a place to party, and who knows what else, that there are “easy pickings” at this address. What were you and the writer of the letter thinking when you published this address? You may have given Ms. Daleo more problems then a few pigeons. The pigeons, by the way, will leave the air conditioner in a few weeks when their chicks fledge.

Mary Conrad
Middle Village

Response: With next-door neighbors like Carol Deleo watching over everything at the house it is unlikely that the underground opportunists will invade the house. That’s the reason why we should all be vigilant to our neighbor’s house and make sure nothing untoward is ever taking place. ed.

Leaders Wanted

Dear Council Member (Elizabeth) Crowley:
Subject: Rats, pruning, etc.
Rats are still running wild in Middle Village. Pruning needs to be done on the 61st Road block. Notices went out well over 2 months ago to responsible parties. Seems grass roots concerns have been overlooked by your party. What's up? We first had Weinergate and now we have your cousin (Congressman Joe Crowley), Crowleygate. Can't your great anointed one Obama have responsible servants attend to any local matters? I feel the party should be re-named the great Socialist/Marxist Party that can do nothing right. Looks from my vantage point that Middle Village is heading in the same direction as Corona and Rego Park. I feel very sorry for its long-term residents. They just wanted to preserve a stabilized area. However, I guess everything will turn out right when your supreme leader turns us into a Communist state.

Hugh McCaul
Middle Village

Weekend Oops

Dear Juniper Berry,
First, let me say that I love your publication. I read it cover to cover and find the articles insightful and pertinent to life in Queens, specifically Maspeth. Usually, the articles are well written and full of fact. However, I was shocked to see the column about the 5 weekends in July be so utterly inaccurate. Robert Henry correctly stated that July 2011 will have 5 full weekends (5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays). What he was incorrect in stating was that this happens only once every 823 years. “The last time this happened was in the late 12th century, the year was 1188.” This is false! The last time it happened was way back in 2005. He also stated that,“It will not happen again until the year 2834.”Also false! The next time 5 full weekends in July occur is in exactly 5 years, in 2016. Then in 2022. Then in 2033. As you can see, this is a rare occurrence, about once every 5 to 11 years, but not at all every 823 years as stated by Robert Henry. Furthermore, in the year 2834, there are only 4 Fridays. I don’t know where this information came from, but I suspect Spam Email. Please have your editors fact check your writers.

I am looking forward to the next publication of Juniper Berry, which I know will be wonderful,
as always.

Matthew DeStefano

Response: Robert Henry wrote a letter apologizing for the error and it is printed in letters to the editor of this Juniper Berry. The Juniper Berry’s all-volunteer writers and staff make every effort to make sure what gets printed is correct. This information slipped through the cracks. ed.

I pride myself on facts and research but in my Enjoy Your Weekends piece I was fooled, and very embarrassed. While rare are five weekends in July it does not occur every eight hundred plus years, my math calculations were way off. The next time will be 2016, big difference. It seems I was sucked in by an Internet hoax. I'd be glad to write a retraction or just use this. My apologies,

Robert Henry

Airplane Noise Worsens

Dear Editor,
I’m William Powers, 3rd generation Middle Village resident. Thank you for reviewing two of my books in the Juniper Berry (Twelve by Twelve and Whispering in the Giant’s Ear).

I am a professional writer, very concerned about growing airplane noise over our community.
More and more, the F.A.A. or powers that be are using Runway 31 and the terribly designed LIE visual approach into LaGuardia. As everyone anywhere near the LIE (Maspeth, Middle Village to Juniper Park and beyond) knows, we get planes every 60 to 90 seconds coming in when that runway is open. That seems to be more often every year.
In the Juniper Berry’s excellent Jan 1998 issue “Our Dangerous and Unfriendly Skies” the issue was raised:

But it’s time to raise a community voice against this as possible plans for expansion/changes at LaGuardia are being considered.

Let’s push together to have the planes come in as they should: the direct route over water (from the north), rather than the cumbersome route over our community. As a spokesman for Crowley put it:” We’re hoping that with the air space redesign that they will take into account to reroute planes over water and not people's houses.” Well, what have the politicians done to protect us from the noise and pollution of these planes?

Could you do another cover story on this issue? Is there someone who follows this issue here in Middle Village that could write it?
I could volunteer to help with the feature story. And I could also do a letter to the editor in the meantime.

Finally, if you could connect us with others in the area concerned about this that would be great.

Thank you,
Bill Powers

blocking the track

To the Editor
I walk the track at Juniper Park on a regular basis and every Saturday morning I have the same problem – parents and onlookers watching the soccer games spill onto the track and watch the games FROM THE TRACK while people are trying to run or walk on it. Today, I asked the ref and the coaches to please ask the parents to refrain, and the coaches instead put their entire team on the track for a meeting while there were at least two men I saw walking with canes on the track at that time having to dodge these selfish idiots.
I'm not sure what team it is – maybe the Woodhaven Soccer team? – but whoever it is, can you please ask parents and coaches to behave like decent human beings and view the games from the grass or viewing stands and not the track itself? Their behavior is sickening.

Also, the grass surrounding the track is getting ridiculously high and needs to be cut.

Jon Dellheim

Tree Abuse in Juniper Park

The following letter was sent to Central Forestry & Horticulture with a copy to JPCA letters by our JPCA member –

To: Gabriel Simon, Parks Central Forestry: I walk in Juniper Valley Park everyday. For the most part the park is very well maintained.

In the fall of 2009 dozens of new trees were planted in the park. Last summer a good number of the trees died for lack of water.
I e-mailed you last summer and was told that maintenance of the new trees was outsourced for two years to the company that planted the trees. They did replace some of the trees last fall. After not maintaining them last year it should come as no surprise to you that again many of the trees are dead from lack of water.

My question is why? Why are you allowing them to repeatedly violate the maintenance agreement?

Thank you
Robert F. McGee
Middle Village
Curb the weeds

To the Editor:
There are some people in the neighborhood who do not think that their property extends to the curb, and are allowing messy weeds to grow in front of their homes. In some cases the weeds are more than a foot high. I do not understand why people do not want the front of their property to look nice. They seem to only be able to look inward at their property and not out. It is a shame because most people appreciate where they live and keep their whole property looking neat and clean.

Dan Thom
Middle Village

Teen Hangout

To whom it may concern:
I spoke with someone from your office on 7-5-11 about the teenagers that hang out on 79th Street and Juniper Blvd. North. The 104 showed up the night of July 5th and haven't been back since. They did give one of the kids a ticket for double parking his truck in the middle of Juniper Blvd. North.

It's now 10pm and I just got home from work and there are 8 cars parked and about 15-20 kids hanging out, throwing garbage all over the street, and racing their motorcycles at all hours. This happens every single night, except for the rainy ones. I also put in the complaint about the rats in the bushes by the stairs there and nothing has been done, since the Parks Dept. will not put down poison, because there are so many dogs and small children there. What about taking out the bushes, where they hide?

Is there anyway we can have the 104th Pct. show themselves at least once a night at different times, so the kids never know when they are going to show up?

Thanks for your help.

Name Withheld on Request
Middle Village

Parents Beware

Dear Mr. Holden
There was an incident at Juniper Valley Park Large Playground in the evening of August 15th. There was a man in his late 20's early 30's in the park with earrings in his lips using a mechanical car to lure children around him. Without parents’ consent, he was using a concealed camera and taking pictures of their children. This individual was in the playground for at least 2 hours before a group of parents noticed what he was doing and confronted him. After admitting to having no children with him, he left the park with an older woman and drove away taking the camera with him. The 104th precinct was notified on the incident and is investigating.

Parents, please be vigilant and watch your children and their surroundings in the park. It is illegal for anyone to be in the playground without a child. If you notice suspicious activity please, call 911 and notify the police and gather as much information about the individual as possible (physical description, actions, license plate number etc). If the opportunity allows, it is okay to take their picture. Please remember that it is also our responsibility to keep our children and community safe.

Thank you.
Middle Village parent

catch them
if you can

Dear Editor,
Lately it seems that surveillance cameras are everywhere and they have caught many criminals in the act. On Grand Ave. in Maspeth as well as other neighborhoods local residents have been using the corner litter baskets for all their household trash (see photo below). On hot summer days the smell is horrible and I'm sure it's an attraction to insects and rats.
Years ago the Sanitation Departments solution was to pull all the baskets off the streets which didn't stop the problem. Why can't the Sanitation Dept. use these cameras to help stop these crimes that have been going on for a long time. Maybe if these people were on television or in the local papers and given a hefty fine this will stop.
Richard Polgar