Dear Editor,
I have lived on 71 Street for 45 years. In the past 10 years there have been many changes. We have more fast food restaurants more banks etc. In the past couple of years they have built six 3 family homes on the corner of 71 Street and Cooper (Avenue).

All this growth has created a bad traffic and parking problem on this block. Adding to this is the Myrtle and Cooper intersection at 71 Street. Also 71 Street goes into Central Ave. where there is a park and playground. Because of all this change any additional vehicles would cause severe traffic problems.

Parking has also become a problem and would be compounded if buses were routed making it necessary to eliminate corner parking space.

Carmine Vasco

Dear Editor,
My family and I would greatly appreciate it if the proposed Q45 bus extension is stopped, in order to keep the reasonable life quality in our neighborhood.

Best regards,
Cherry Caracoti

To: Juniper Park Civic Association
As a resident of 80th Street between Eliot Avenue and 62nd Avenue, I am emphatically opposed to the extension of the Q45 bus route. Our street has enough vehicle traffic.

The addition of this bus route will only increase congestion and more importantly create a safety hazard. There have been numerous accidents on the corner of 80th Street and Eliot Avenue.

This proposed but route, according to my knowledge, is primarily for the benefit of the Atlas Terminal. I would like to know the marketing genius who thought of this proposal.

Mr. & Mrs. Anthony J. Asaro
Middle Village


Dear Editor:
Councilman Liu from Flushing wants to make it a law where you can idle only one minute by a school. I’ve noticed by Junior High School 73 buses lined all around the school with their engines on for at least 15 minutes and the same for PS58 and for the little day care school on 74 Street and Metropolitan Avenue.

EMS ambulances and other hospitals have to keep the engines on to maintain equipment temperatures and they usually park for long periods with their engines on near parks or commercial areas.

Maybe they could have a standby area that would provide a plug for them to plug in and run the equipment without running the engine. It doesn’t make sense that our hospitals are polluting our environment where we work, shop and play.

On any given day if you walk around Juniper Valley Park you could see a variety of trucks from various city agencies taking their break, school buses waiting for school or camp groups, a line of 20 cars waiting to take the driving test, several cars from a local car service waiting for a call, an ambulance waiting for calls.

I’ve left one of the biggest offenders for last because he is someone we all love – especially the children – he’s Mr. Softee. He drives around the park then parks for long periods attracting all the little kids and all the while the trucks are spewing toxic fumes. On a busy hot day there are usually two Mr. Softee trucks working the park. If there ever was a company that should switch to clean hybrid vehicles it’s Mr.Softee. OK, our ice cream could make us fat, we’ll run it off in the park – but the air is something we all must breathe and it’s poison. When I ride my bike around the park I have to hold my breath until I pass Mr. Softee.

New York City has some of the worst air quality in the nation and they say Queens has the worst air quality in the city, so what can we do?

I propose that the city put signs up around all parks to let drivers know that there is a three minute idle law. We all know that with all the laws we have and with the lack of police presence that they probably won’t be enforced but maybe it will appeal to the common sense of us all.

We all come to our parks young and old to find peace and quiet or to run and play and we all have to breathe – let’s hope it’s clean healthy air.

Richard Polgar


Office of Driver’s Improvement
6 Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York

To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing because I am concerned about the safety of residents living in Middle Village.

There have been numerous accidents in the vicinity of Juniper Valley Park, on Juniper Boulevard North where DMV road testing is done. In many of these accidents vehicles wind up on the sidewalk of the park where there are many pedestrians walking the perimeter, including elderly persons, school children and baby carriages.

I believe you would have a record of such accidents as reported by the 104th precinct and form MV-104 requirement from insurance companies.

What is sometimes missing from these reports is the fact that vehicles have passed over the sidewalk, endangering lives of pedestrians. In addition there are long stretches of road where there is no designated crosswalk or traffic control signals on Juniper Boulevard North in particular and around the rest of the perimeter of the Juniper Valley Park. I have heard mothers say they are afraid to cross the street with their children and their bicycles.

I had one mother complain to me that on the day of road testing that the auto emissions are excessive and that there are often 40 cars lined up with their engines running for hours, running air conditioners in summer and heaters in the winter.

Although the road testing day is Friday, on any given day residents are subjected to learner’s practicing for their road test. I have innumerable scratches and dents on my vehicle from persons practicing parallel parking and U-turns on 62nd Avenue near the intersection of 77th Street.

There is one location in particular at the intersection of 77th Street and Juniper Boulevard North that has had many accidents over the years. The most recent involving a woman with a learner’s permit who was driving into the oncoming lane of traffic and totaled my mother’s parked car. She was going so fast that she knocked the parked car from the residential side of the street at least 75 feet across 2 lanes and a painted divider up onto the sidewalk at 11 o’clock on a Saturday morning while people were walking the perimeter of Juniper Valley Park. It was a miracle that no pedestrian was killed. I shudder to think what if my mother or children had been near her parked car when it was struck with such force that it pushed the engine into the firewall, totaling my mother’s car.

I am making two requests today, one that traffic control and safe crossing of pedestrians be addressed and implemented at Juniper Boulevard North at Juniper Valley Park.

The other is that road tests be eliminated from our area. Our community has suffered with the practicing, damage and pollution of our area for over 30 years; it’s time to relocate the test area to another location.

Thank you in advance to your prompt response to my concern.

Sincerely yours,
Nancy Witterholt-Colter, RN-C
Middle Village

Dear Ms. Witterholt-Colter:
Your letter of January 15, 2008 to the Driver Improvement Bureau regarding the Middle Village road test site has been referred to me for review and response.

We appreciate and understand your concerns and agree that traffic control devices and crosswalks would certainly make the area safer. However, jurisdiction in those matters rests with the NYC Department of Transportation.

Practicing in a road test area is prohibited as per Commissioner’s Regulations, Section 4.1. It is our belief that placing signs in the area, indicating that practice driving is prohibited might help to deter such practicing.

We have attempted to secure signage in the past at this and other sites without success: perhaps your Civic Association can address this with the NYC Department of Transportation, which is responsible for posting signs.

We also encourage you to send license plate numbers of cars and/or names of driving schools that are practicing in the area to me at the College Point address listed above so we may take action.

Let me also point out that the road testing operation in Queens is the largest in the state, requiring many road test sites throughout the borough to accommodate the numerous license applicants here, concentrated in a relatively small geographic area.

By testing in Middle Village only one day a week and utilizing a minimum number of Examiners, we try to limit the impact on the community. We are always seeking out new road test sites, however, it has become increasingly difficult to find any due to congestion.

We look for locations that meet our standards, and that may be approved by the NYC Department of Transportation. If we were to close the Middle Village site without opening a new site elsewhere, there would be an impact on other areas and communities in Queens. We also checked our records and have found that there have only been two minor accidents at this site during road tests in the last four years.

I am hopeful that this has allayed and clarified some of your concerns.

Rosario Planzo
Queens District Director
Department of Motor Vehicles


Dear Editor:
Subject: Graffiti issues

As a long time resident in Middle Village, there is a noticeable decline it quality of life issues. Aside from the increase in traffic and over development, two glaring issues are the increase in litter and even more so is graffiti.

I am specifically referring to the rear of the stores along Eliot Avenue at Caldwell. The rear of these shops has had sporadic incidents. However this weekend new Tags have been placed, which are done because the previous incidents were never dealt with. Obviously the tenants have no inclination to clean the mess, but the owner should.

I would like to write a letter to the owner, suggesting that he have more respect for his own property. I might also go as far as to suggest a “one day boycott” of the stores, so that the tenants may also apply pressure to the landlord(s).

There are plenty of Pizza parlors and finger nail salons, or Chinese take-out so that would not impact people who would be willing to spend their money elsewhere. Could you tell me how I would go about obtaining the name(s) and Address of the owners?

Thank you for all your hard work.

Ray Femia
Middle Village

Dear Ray: You can use the City Map to find the block and lot numbers of the property, and then enter this information in the ACRIS system to obtain the name of the current owner. – ed.


Dear Editor:
I haven’t noticed in any of the local papers about the completion of the toilet construction in Frontera Park in Maspeth. I guess the Parks Department is not much for blowing their own horn, as I’d like to do it.

First of all, they are beautifully designed and fit perfectly in a former underutilized area.

Not only will it be a great relief to the parents and the little children and to the basketball leagues, it will be a great relief to the residents living near the park who had to witness people using their front yards and the park as a toilet.

I can remember when Frontera Park had a full time worker that handed out knock hockey games and shuffleboard and basketballs and there was a working toilet. It was due to budget cuts in the 1970’s that took away the park worker and the park house was burned down due to vandalism.

Our parks greatly improve our quality of life. I say there should be more money in the Parks Department budget for more workers so we don’t have to wait 30 years to get things fixed.

Thank you,
Richard Polgar
Maspeth, NY


Dear Editor,
A senior couple who live in Middle Village both own a house and rent their apartments to other seniors.

Unfortunately they have a serious heart condition. During the last ice storm in March they were unable to clear their walkway. They were desperately worried and concerned about pedestrians falling and getting hurt. They couldn’t contact anyone to help them shovel.

I live around the corner from them and knew all about the situation. I called Bob Holden, I know that he is always ready to help people. He gave me a number to call. Two very nice boys age 15 came shortly after. They did a terrific job chopping and clearing the snow. They worked long hours. The couple were grateful and the boys went home happy, too.

Thanks again, Mr. Holden, for your concern and for helping to make our community a safe and better place to live.

Celia Carrano
Middle Village


To the Juniper Berry:
I love the Berry. It’s great hearing what’s going on and the section showing what the area looked like years ago is terrific.

Mrs. Mary Ann Ahearne
Middle Village, NY