Chilled Trees – Update

Just an update on the tree fiasco that occurred on Goldington Court this past year. To give you some background, a Parks Department contractor originally planted five Shingle Oak trees on January 24, 2018. Unfortunately, these trees were planted in the bitter cold of January and never had a chance and died. (See Christina Wilkinson’s June 2018 article in the Juniper Berry “Things That Are Dumb – Chilled Trees”). The residents of this block had to look at the dead trees from January through July until they were finally cut down. On November 30, 2018, a private contractor replanted the five trees on Goldington Court with Silver Lindens. Let’s see how long these trees last. I will keep you posted.

Eric Robertazzi, Middle Village NY

Pullis protectors

Please find a photo attached of my friend’s daughters at Pullis Farm Cemetery. They helped my Iraqi war veteran husband, John, replace the flags for the ceremony held at Juniper Valley Park on September 11th. Their names are Sarah, Sinead, Lily and Maebh Fitzpatrick Smyth. The flags were donated by me, Loretta Heaney from Harbor Inn Sports Bar.

Thank You,

Loretta Heaney, Middle Village

State Assembly Members opposed to PS9 shelter

Dear Mayor de Blasio:

We have become aware that you may be establishing yet another homeless shelter in our communities. The Holiday Inn Express in CB5 currently houses approximately 100 men despite longstanding opposition. Other hotels nearby in adjacent CB2 and CB1 house several hundred more. They have not been well run. They are not addressing community concerns. We are compassionate but the negative impacts for both homeless and community have been real.

We are opposed to ANY additional shelters in our communities. We oppose converting PS9 into a shelter, a school building is not an appropriate location to place homeless individuals. School District 24 is one of the most overcrowded school districts in the city; we need more schools, not fewer. We support new school seats. We support increased fire, police, health, sanitation, environmental, transit, educational, veterans, youth, senior family, mental health and social services. Small residential neighborhoods like Ridgewood, Glendale, Maspeth and Middle Village in CB5, and Sunnyside, Woodside, Dutch Kills, Astoria, and Long Island City in CB2 and CB1 are underserved in many ways. They have no ability to absorb homeless populations.

We are entitled to be kept informed of your administration's plans. We urge you not to pit Queens neighborhoods against each other. We await your response to our concerns.


Catherine Nolan, State Assembly Member, District 37

Brian Barnwell, State Assembly Member, District 30

State Senator opposed to PS9 shelter

The news of a proposed shelter at a school building in Maspeth is disturbing. New York needs a comprehensive solution to its homelessness crisis, not a disorganized patchwork of shelters throughout Queens. This latest proposal adds another burden to a neighborhood whose infrastructure is already stressed to the breaking point. I urge the city to reconsider its decision and develop a more comprehensive and rational approach to this issue.

Michael Gianaris, State Senator, District 12

Vigilante traffic police force at work

Posted to JPCA’s Facebook group:

It appears someone replaced a “one way” with a “stop” sign and created a stop crosswalk on Pleasantview Street and 66th Road (November 3rd).

Cara Marino, Middle Village

This issue was submitted to the DOT. The stop sign was removed and the one-way sign replaced. The fake crosswalk’s paint was also removed. This may have been a frustrated resident’s attempt to improve safety, but it could have caused a tragedy. If you have concerns about dangerous intersections, please report them to JPCA and we’ll ask for a DOT study to be conducted. – Ed.

Cleaner locomotive on the way

Want to know what Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions has been working for since 2009? This is a photo of the New York City region's very first ultra-low emission US EPA Certified Tier 4 Switch Duty Cycle Mother-slug locomotive. Its advanced technology reduces diesel emissions by 95% compared to the 1970's-era freight locomotives being used today by LIRR and the New York & Atlantic Railway. It's the world's cleanest locomotive, and it will be working in neighborhoods of New York City. Waste Management purchased the locomotive with their generous match and a $1 million US EPA DERA grant that was awarded to the NYC Economic Development Corporation. Built by Knoxville Locomotive Works, the Tier 4 ultra-low emissions Switch Duty Cycle locomotive has an American-made MTU prime mover engine and a slug. These photos were taken at Greenville Yard, where PANY-NJ's NYNJ Rail is using the machine before it is brought to Queens to work for Waste Management.

Mary Arnold, Co-Founder, Civics United for Railroad Environmental Solutions

A beautification suggestion

The following letter was sent to NYC Park Commissioner Mitchell Silver:

Dear Commissioner,

I would like to thank the Parks Dept for doing an upgrade of Crowley Park in Elmhurst. As a lifelong resident of the area, I have many good memories of playing in the park as a youngster when it was brand new. I also remember the bad days of budget cuts in the 1970s when park workers were taken away and the park became a haven for vandalism and destruction of the park house.

I was hoping the plantings would include ivy to cover up the unsightly wall. Years ago, before the Long Island Expressway widened, there was a green space, now we have a concrete wall. When DOT told the community of the plan of building walls, we requested they plant ivy to make it look better. Over the years, some ivy died from being painted over to cover graffiti and some has fallen off the wall because they didn’t provide anything for it to cling to.

Also, murals could be painted on the walls in the other areas without soil. Perhaps a local school could provide artists.

Thank you.

Richard Polgar, Maspeth

In grateful appreciation

Dear Friends,

I want to thank you for granting me the honor of serving you for another 2 years in the Assembly. I promise I will continue to remember that I work for YOU. Please always feel free to call our office (718) 651-3185 or my cell (917) 363-7081 if you need any assistance.

Brian Barnwell, Assembly Member, 30th District

Centennial celebration

Dear Friends,

Deacon Bob would like to let the Juniper Berry know about his mother Anna Lavanco's 100th Birthday Mass celebration at Our Lady of Hope on Sunday December 16th at 12:30pm. Hope to see everyone there.

Take care,

Michele Pizzella, OLH Rectory

A successful fundraiser

Jesse Roland and I hosted our 5th Annual Toys For Tots Dart Benefit on December 1st, at Bridie’s Bar & Grill. The event included free pictures with Santa for the young crowd, followed by a large benefit dart tournament, 50/50 raffles and many, many items for raffle. Last year we amassed over 20 large boxes of toys and just under $10,000 for the charity. This year, we raised over $10,000.00 (and counting) as well as 16 large boxes of toys. We want to thank the entire neighborhood for coming together for this great event!

Thank you,

Tom Lynaugh, Middle Village