A Pox on the Mailbox

Dear JPCA,
As a 22 year resident of Middle Village and current property owner, I am frustrated by the negligent level of maintenance and care that the US Postal Service has shown to its many mailboxes and carrier storages. I take pride in my community and am embarrassed by the large graffiti tags that adorn virtually every other corner. On 4/16 I spoke with the manager of our local post office and he assured me that if I submit the locations of every box in MV that has been vandalized, he will submit a work order for each of them to maintenance (a separate office). He also added that his post office does not have personnel to canvas the area and maintain them regularly. I asked him if I, or other community members, could be charged with the task of maintaining them if the USPS provided the paint. He said that he would ask, but he is doubtful that could be approved due to union issues. In the meantime, I will be canvassing the area and providing those locations of boxes that have been tagged. I hope that this will be the beginning of an increased awareness of this issue by the USPS.

Robert Marino
Middle Village

95 & Still Enjoying Berry

Dear Mr. Holden,
Thank you very much for all you and your staff are doing. I enjoy the Juniper Berry and always look forward to the next magazine. I just celebrated my 95th birthday on October 21st. Enclosed, please find a check for my membership and also a check for the problem with the homeless shelter.

Frieda Rastetter

Homeless in Glendale

Dear Editor,
For the concerned residents of Glendale and Middle Village, the proposal to convert a site near the old Hansel & Gretel Baloney Factory into a Homeless Shelter is clearly absurd. And the growing opposition is based on facts – not NIMBY (Not in my back yard). The facts are succinctly laid out in a recent Juniper Berry article written by Christina Wilkinson. Unless you are among those who are going to personally profit from this venture, the argument against choosing this site for a homeless shelter is irrefutable.

Now we have had some time to witness just what has happened along Queens Boulevard since the Pan Am Hotel was opened without notice and contrary to the public statements of Lisa Black, Assistant Director of Governmental Relations at the Department of Homeless Services (that the Pan Am site was rejected outright because some of the rooms did not have kitchens). Therefore, it is imperative that not only those actively working to preserve their neighborhoods and protect innocent children from being warehoused in inappropriate facilities be involved, but all taxpayers and businesses associated with the affected neighborhoods should join the coalition to fight this unjust use of the taxpayers money so that others can satisfy their unbridled greed for profit.

It has come to my attention that the management of Atlas Park Shops, which is a “stone’s throw” from the proposed homeless shelter, has no intentions of joining the coalition to fight this inappropriate, unwarranted placement of a shelter near the old baloney factory. Yet, the Shops at Atlas Park will be among the first victims of this plan. Local newspapers should consider the loss of advertising revenue from the shops in Atlas and along Metropolitan Avenue. All the printed media and the local TV stations should join the fight to stop innocent children from being warehoused in substandard housing.

Edward Kampermann
Howard Beach

Charitable Harassment

Dear Editor,
I wish Senator Addabbo could initiate legislation to curtail the forceful way professional fundraisers are soliciting for various charities. You give to the charities of your choice and they flood your mailbox the next week and harass you by phone calls for more. Back in the day, the organizations asking for donations practiced moderation. Now these fundraisers expect the public to give 365 days of the year. These practices might turn the people off entirely from giving. I had communicated with then State Attorney General Cuomo about the problem but to no avail.

Hugh McCaul
Middle Village

Historic Accuracy

re: letter to the editor March/April 2014 from Robert Wieland

To the Editor:  

I was in Robert Wieland’s class in PS.49 during the 1950s, and we graduated in 1952. But we were one of two graduating classes that year: both the sixth grade and the eighth grade.

The students on the steps of P.S. 49 were members of the 8th grade graduating class. Neither Bob nor I are in it. I used a magnifying glass, so I’m sure. In fact I spotted my cousin Sandra Glaser who was two years ahead of me, as well as Eleanor Stockheim, Susan Mokotoff, Charles Mailman and Donald Dunn, some of the older kids I remember. But I don’t blame Bob for being confused.

1952 was the last year the school would go to 8 grades. The 1952-1953 school year saw the conversion of P.S. 49 to an elementary school that went as far as the sixth grade. Graduates would then  attend junior high school for 7th through 9th grades, and from there go to high school for three years until graduation.

I have attached my 4th grade class picture from March 1950. Bob is in the back, standing next to our teacher, Mrs. Gibbons (on her right). I am the first one in the third row.  Most of the kids Bob mentions are in the picture  and I remember them too. But one is not. Helen Trenkle. She was our 6th grade teacher. My memory isn’t what it used to be either, so I’m glad I have documentation in my autograph book that she was our graduating teacher. I have Bob’s autograph too ( I guess I save everything!): “If all the boys were across the sea, what a good swimmer June would be.”

I just wanted to set the record straight and do what I can to help maintain historic accuracy. So many have been busy revising it.

June Glaser  
class (6th grade) of 1952

American Revolution & Newtown

In your article: Newtown and the American Revolution
 Juniper Berry (Dec. 2011) with research from Maspeth, Our Town by Barbara W. Stankowski, She states: “In the South Beat there were 86 Patriots, and they were led by: Abraham Remsen, Benjamin Coe, Robert Furman, and Benjamin North, but, in order to live among their neighbors after the British triumph on Long Island, these men to all outward appearances, became Tory Sympathizers also, rather than go into exile, as did many who were patriots.”
Benjamin North was indeed Exiled, as were his sons and Sons in law, who were members of this  militia company.
From the history of the first Presbyterian church of Newtown:  “When the war ended only 5 of our members remained to start up the church again.”
Your article suggests that all the militia (and Benjamin North in particular) “to all outward appearances, became Tory Sympathizers also, rather than go into exile” when in fact few would have had that choice, as this militia unit fought in the battle of long Island, were evacuated to New York City, and were subsequently left to their own devises at Kings Bridge. Return to Newtown would almost certainly have resulted in death or imprisonment.
Benjamin North Died in “Continental Village” near Fishkill NY in March of 1777.
Do you have evidence that any of the named officers remained (or returned) to Newtown During the War?
Thank you for your time.
Robert North

Rope Co.?

In 1947 my father Franklin Bidden from JJ Bidden Cordage Co, was invited by Bill Cating to entertain the idea of managing the Cating Rope Works. For a variety of reasons this did not work out, but the men remained friends. Does anyone there have any information on what happened to Mr. Cating and the Rope company.

Diana Carl
email: dbcprh@triad.rr.com

It’s a small world (After all)

Dear Editor,
It’s a small world! At the end of September my grandsons came for the weekend. They are my Bill’s boys – Andrew, 9 and Brian, 7. All weekend Andrew kept texting his new friend at school – Glenwood Landing School. His name was Christian and he was visiting his grandparents in Queens. I asked his last name and Andrew said, “Holden.” I told him to find out where they lived and if his grandfather’s name was Robert. Sure enough! This classmate of Andrew’s is Robert Holden’s grandson. Small world!
Today I visited Glendwood Landing School and was talking to a mother who is the daughter-in-law of the Holdens. His granddaughter (Ashley) is in Brian’s class! Small world!
I was very excited as a former “Middle Villager” and member of the civic association enjoying the magazine that is so fabulous. So that’s my small world story.

Elna Kraupner

Traffic Agent Harassment

Dear Juniper Civic Association,
At approximately 7:10am on November 25th, I was hassled by a Ticket Agent at the 7-Eleven on Eliot Avenue, in Middle Village. I was inside store just about to purchase a cup a coffee, when I looked out the window and spotted a NYC Traffic Agent crossing Eliot Avenue, he was parked outside Our Lady of Hope Church. He crossed the street and was heading to 7-Eleven. He abruptly stopped at my vehicle and began to scan the registration sticker on the windshield of my car, I shot outside and asked, why are you giving me a ticket, he replied “you’re not permitted to park here,” I replied yes I am and pointed to the Yellow NYC Parking Permit/Placard that was sitting on the dashboard of my car. He shouted back at me, you’re not permitted to park here, that placard is for on street parking only. And then said to me, “READ IT” – I told him I did read it, the day I received it, and I know where I am NOT PERMITTED to park. I replied this spot is a Handicapped spot, he then said, this spot is only for the BLUE tag drivers. I replied, I am handicapped, I reached in and pulled out the Blue tag he grabbed it from my hand and then he tossed it into my car.
He proceeded to scan the windshield of my car, and abruptly said to me, you’re not permitted to park here. He brushed by me so fast, he hit my shoulder, causing me to lose balance. I was not handed a violation, but he did scan my vehicle’s tags and handicap placard. I didn’t get to have my coffee yet, so my thinking was on delay and did not get the name on his badge.
With courtesy, respect & professionalism.

Phyllis Taiano
Middle Village

Our Precarious Postal Predicament

There is a deplorable trend occurring in our area. I am referring to mail theft which is on the increase. Despite the fantasy illusion put forth by NYPD and our genius politicians, crime has been and continues to be on the rise, as we sink into the abyss of becoming a third world capital city. We see this on a daily basis with panhandlers, those digging through trash, sleeping on park benches, drunks, druggies and their ilk destroying parked cars, fences and properties. We now exist in constant defense of this, employing ineffective methods such as alarms, security bars, jail cell doors and closed circuit televisions (CCTV’s). This is NOT what we or our forbears moved to this community for nor what they worked for and built.
The current situation includes mail and parcels being scanned for tracking, which is an attempt to cover USPS from liability and misdirecting or simply leaving parcels in unsecure locations. Where are their brains, as it’s been quite a long time since this could be safely done in New York City? Several others and I have lost mail and parcels and all we are told is “sorry.” Sorry is unacceptable.
It has gotten to the point where CCTV’s are needed and where the Postal Police or higher level agencies need to be brought in. This is a federal offense, people! Some of these stolen items are expensive or of a legal nature. As an example, if a resident received a jury summons and this letter mysteriously disappears or if a miracle takes place and it grows legs and walks away, the intended recipient is not only the victim but is a perpetrator to the court.
So what to do? Well, any honest person will eventually move to another state when the time comes and the void will be filled with lower class people until this area has devolved into an east coast version of Detroit. In the meantime we are forced to live as if we were imprisoned in our own homes.
I will direct that all parcels require an adult signature and be left at the Post Office. We should all do the same and let the pick-up line extent down 69th Street to Queens Blvd. Don’t waste your time contacting the NYPD as they claim they simply don’t have the staff. News Flash: THE REASON THEY DON’T HAVE THE STAFF IS BECAUSE THEY ARE ASSIGNED TO GIVE TRAFFIC TICKETS ON EACH AND EVERY HIGHWAY AND PARKWAY 24/7. This is where our police are, shaking down victims going to work, not going after those I mentioned above. For that they look the other way. That is unless it affects one of those they are assigned to protect – not the taxpaying public!

– Daniel Trembinski, Maspeth