Dear Robert Holden,
I am writing you this letter to give you an insight on what the police are really used for at Shea Stadium. Being an Employee of the stadium I must hide my identity due to retaliation from my employer.

The N.Y.P.D.'s main job at the stadium is not for security or any sort of anti terrorism. Its main job is to make sure ownership is able to drive in to the stadium with no problems. The police can be found as far away as Linden place in Whitestone, which is approximately 2 miles away. So your police are taken from your precinct to be used as traffic agents within a two-mile radius so that some millionaire and his son are not confined in traffic.

While working in the stands of the stadium, I have often seen the officers that are outside eventually come in to the stadium at a certain point and get to watch the game until the 8th inning. So they are being paid to watch baseball after their 1-2 hours of directing traffic. The management of the Police Department is really not spending the City's money correctly in times like this.

Besides directing traffic the police can be seen carrying big catering boxes in to the stadium precinct, full of food like they were having a party each night. You can also catch them at times filling up there Squad cars with Mets giveaway items. I invite you to come out to the stadium and just walk around outside to see what exactly they do at the stadium. They are definitely not doing security inside the stadium, because the N. Y. Mets employ there own security force.


To the Editor,
I am responding to the article “Unleashed Dogs” by Lorraine Sciulli in the March/April 2002 issue of the Juniper Berry. I find it sad that the article is based entirely on hysteria and fear. Even more sad is that there is no encouragement in the article, written by a member of the Board of Directors of the Juniper Park Civic Association, to work together as a community to rectify practices that are uncomfortable to both dog owners and non-dog owners. The article resounds with an “us” or “them” attitude. Dogs have been human companions since the beginning of time and will more than likely continue to be so until the end of time. In an urban situation, dogs need a place to exercise off leash. Off leash exercise as well as socialization with other dogs is absolutely necessary for a dog’s health. It amazes me that the author isn’t pushing for a dog run in the community which would solve many problems for both dog owners and non-dog owners. With her clout, I’m sure she could be very influential and instrumental in implementing such an achievement.

With a dog run (a fenced area with a gate where dogs can run and play off leash), dogs would be kept on leash until they are inside the run, then would be secure in the dog run when they are off leash. As has been established in other communities with dog runs, responsible dog owners who use it regularly would keep it clean. This way, those who fear dogs would not be subjected to dogs off leash and dog owners would not have to worry about their dogs wondering off or frightening fearful people. Most dog owners do not wish to get into altercations with other people when they are spending quality time with their animal companions; just as people who are not comfortable with dogs do not want to be frightened when they go for walks in the park.

Last, but not least, I was very surprised to see the photograph of the specific gentleman and his dogs beside text referring to killer dogs. It makes the article all the more ludicrous. He is a most conscientious member of the community; he cleans graffiti off of buildings and stop signs throughout the neighborhood, keeps his whole block clean, has defended elderly persons from abusive teenagers and is involved in community organizations and concerns, to name only a few of his many redeemable acts. His dogs are extremely docile and well trained. Even if the Juniper Park Civic Association were to apologize, the damage has been done to his character. The slanderous implications regarding his photograph juxtaposed with this article are irreparable.

Gwen Sprinkle
Middle Village

Dear Ms. Sprinkle:
I will try to respond to your lengthy letter as briefly as possible. My article on “Unleashed Dogs” in the March/April 2002 Juniper Berry was written to emphasize the danger of the relaxed leash law. With over 4 1/2 million dog bites reported each year, many of them from unleashed dogs, there is no compromise, when in a public place dogs should be on the leash at all times.

You talk about a dog run as if that would solve all the canine problems. If you believe a dog run would mean that all unleashed dogs would be romping in the run and all the owners participating in the romp would clean up after their dog then I have a question for you, “where are you on the Easter bunny?” In the real world dog runs create more problems than they solve for the very reason that many dog owners do not cooperate with the “rules” set up by the group. If we had cooperative dog owners we wouldn't have to spend our time writing articles like this, would we?

You state that it was unfair of the Juniper Berry to print the picture of the man walking his large, unleashed dogs because this gentleman is a “most conscientious member of the community.” He has “extremely docile, well trained dogs,” he “cleans graffiti, keeps his block clean, defends the elderly from abusive teenagers etc.,etc.” That's great, and while this gentleman is performing all these good acts he can keep his dogs on the leash.

Finally, you state that my article was “sad” because it was “based entirely on hysteria and fear.” No, Ms. Sprinkle, it was based on raw facts because, as you will read in this issue of the Juniper Berry, 300,000 people each year end up in hospital emergency rooms because of dog bites, many of them are children. These numbers beg the question, why would we as a civilized society roll the dice with the safety of our children? This is a “no brainer,” there is no compromise, dogs must be leashed at all times while in public places. The NYC Dept. of Parks relaxation of the leash law is asinine and downright dangerous.

Lorraine Sciulli
Assistant Editor
Juniper Berry

Dear Mr. Holden:
As per our telephone conversation regarding 7-Eleven on Eliot Avenue, I have been experiencing the following problems for some time. I have boys and girls of all ages sitting on my wall after they buy food from 7-Eleven. They graffitied my stone pretty bad. They throw garbage all open bags of pretzels, chips, melted cheese, chewed gum, wrappers, cigarette butts, both in my driveway and in the little nook belonging to 7-Eleven.

After going into 7-Eleven on numerous occasions complaining about the garbage, they put a pail in the nook only to take it away after it being graffitied several times and having found clothes, pillows, etc stuffed in it. I then put my own pail there only to have it disappear two days later. I have been in touch with the Field Consultant of 7-Eleven, Mr. Joel Domersant. He did come and ring my bell. I explained and showed him the problems I have been having. He promised to clean the stone, but that was months ago. I call him every week and leave a message to no avail.

I saw a teenager using the bush for a bathroom one evening. The other day my neighbor saw them using it again in broad daylight. Another one of my neighbors told me that she saw 7-Eleven selling beer to minors. I've picked up numerous empty beer bottles, rum bottles, and other types of bottles many times. I also caught a young man leaving food for cats behind the bush. When I told him to remove it, he was very adamant. He did, but, put it back after I went in. Seeing it there, I took it and threw it out in my garbage. On Sunday evening at about 11:00p.m. I chased a bunch of teenagers off my wall (boys and girls) telling them that this is private property. The next morning I found a melted ice cream pop behind my son's door, it was also all over the steps. There was also food thrown down there. A piece of roll with cheese melting on the cement. I found a plastic chocolate drink bottle thrown under my rose bush. On my steps going to my porch, they threw food there also, leaving what looks like an oil stain, which I'm trying to get out. But, so far no luck.
I have asked Mr. Domersant to look into the possibility of fencing in that area. He said he would look into it, but, thought the property belonged to the City rather than 7-eleven. However, that was months ago, and nothing has been done. No one comes out to sweep or clear the area in anyway. If I don't sweep or clean it, it looks like a pigsty. I would appreciate any help you can give me to help straightened this matter out.
Thank you.


Dear Sir/Madam:
As the new commanding officer of the 112 Precinct since December 3, 2001 and a life long resident of the area I truly care about quality of life issues and need your help to pass along information.

The sign referred to in the March/April 2002 issue was displayed on a mobile blimp in front of Goldfingers which is located across the street from a religious institution. It was removed by the business owner. Subsequently, the mobile blimp was observed driving in the Home Depot parking lot. The driver was stopped and arrested for driving with a suspended license in addition to illegal operation of mobile blimp on city streets. Readers should be aware that mobile blimps are prohibited from driving on city streets regardless of the ad content. License plates of these vehicles along with the times and streets observed should be reported to the local precinct as these blimps follow a schedule. With your help we can work to eliminate these vehicles from polluting the air.

In terms of illegal motorized skateboards, six were confiscated on March 11, 2002 from Woodhaven Boulevard and Elliot Avenue. Two of the six individuals stopped had stolen one of the scooters from another youth. These two individuals were charged with Robbery.

Captain Charles R. Stravalle, Commanding Officer
112 Precinct

Dear Mr. Holden:
Would it be possible for you to remind your readers through the Juniper Berry that parking of commercial vans is against the law in residential driveways. Also illegal is the parking of any vehicle on public sidewalks. This is still going on and if not stopped it will spread to all of Maspeth and Middle Village. You know, ” If they can get away with it why can't I”. Why isn't the law being enforced? Where are the patrol cars? Why aren't summonses being issued? Perhaps a call by you to the proper authorities might do the trick? Thank you for enhancing the quality of life for us all. I wish to remain anonymous.

Respectfully yours,
A lawful abiding resident

Dear Editor:
I'm trying to track down any information that I can about a family business that my grandparents had in your area during the 1920s or 1930s. It was a fish market, located at Fresh Pond Road and Metropolitan Avenue. Since my mother's parents passed on when she was very young (6 years old), I have little information to go on.

Here's what I can tell you: My grandparents (who had the fish store) were William and Bertha Smith. My mother believes that the store may have been named after her dad (such as “Bill's Fish Market”), but is not quite certain. She also remembers living in an apartment behind (or above) the store –the address 53-52 72nd Place seems familiar to her.

The historic information on your web site caught my attention, and I'm hoping that someone in your association can shed some light on this family puzzle. Ideally I'm hoping to learn the name of the business, street address, what is located on that site now, and if anyone or any publication might have historic photos showing that section of the street around the 1920s or 1930s.

Anything you can share would be very much appreciated by me and my family. Much of our family history was lost when my mother became orphaned at such a young age, and I'm eager to piece this together for the sake of everyone in my family. Any suggestions you have as to anyone else you think might be able to help are also welcome.

Thank you so much for your assistance. I realize this request may seem a bit unusual, but any help that you or your associates can provide would mean a lot.

Laura Naughton
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
telephone: 610-524-0554