Dear JPCA,
Thank you for calling attention to the dangerous conditions at the Upper Playground at Juniper Valley Park. My 2 year old daughter has twice ran into the poorly designed monkey bars and had such big lumps on her head that we called our doctor. There are so many great playground systems now available on the market, why can't we have a nice and safe one too? To whom should we moms write to express our displeasure with our playground and our desire for a new one? Perhaps the local schools/churches could request parishioners/students to send letters as well?

Best Regards,
Christine Arundel

PS – We had a great time at the Halloween Party in the park! Thanks!

Dear Sir,
I am inquiring about the Juniper Berry Magazine Vol.62 – No.4 November 200l an all volunteer publication of the Juniper Park Civic Association Inc. My sister-in-law just showed it to me and in reading it I found on page 18 my son-in-law's picture, Capt. Patrick Waters Special Operations, plus the other firemen from Middle Village.

Is there any way that I may receive this magazine? I would appreciate it very much.

Thank you,
Pauline T .Sakowski
Middle Village

Dear Pauline, a copy was sent to you and to your hero son-in-law. ed.

Dear Mr. Holden,
The November issue of the Juniper Berry is a gem. The photography and the articles are wonderful. This is a copy I will save. Thank you for all your work with the Juniper Park Civic Association Inc. I've been a member since I moved here and the dues were $2.00! But now I attend the meetings and appreciate all that is being done for the community.

Many thanks,
Rose M. Pace
Middle Village

Dear Mr. Holden,
Enclosed is my check for $20.00 for non-resident membership to the Juniper Berry – Juniper Park Civic Association. I would like very much to receive the November issue of the Juniper Berry.

Since I lived in Elmhurst (1943-1971) just around the corner from the Silver Barn and played in Juniper Park and have known Carl Berner's family since I was a child I would like very much to read all the current happenings of the neighborhood. My husband grew up in Middle Village.

I am now residing in Floral Park, Queens, NY. Thank you for adding my name to the list of members.

Marilyn Luedtke
Floral Park, NY

To the Editor,
Your Coverage of the tragedy, particularly of the Middle Village Volunteer Ambulance members, is excellent.

Thank God they're all safe.

Jackie Cavalla
Middle Village

Dear Mr. Holden,

This letter will formalize our recent conversation.

About a week and a half ago while traveling south on Queens Boulevard we noticed a very large sign advertising Wiggles Bar affixed to its building which is next door to PC Richard on the eastern side of Queens Blvd.

Since reporting obscene advertising to Marge Markey's office as well as to Serf Maltese and Tom Ognibene, the sign has been removed from the building and placed on a truck at eye level outside the building at curbside.

The advertisement is very demeaning and degrading to women and in fact to us all. We believe it is totally inappropriate and offensive to all decent human beings and should be removed.

Thank you for your help in this matter,

(name withheld on request)

The following letter was written to Councilwoman Melinda Katz with a copy to the JPCA
Re: Tow Truck belonging to Digital Co., Bronx, NY

Dear Ms. Katz,
This truck parks every day on 58 Ave. between 81 and 82 St. and it leaves the neighbors feeling as if they live in a junkyard. It circumvents the traffic patrol by using the following schedule since August:

Arrives at 4:30AM and leaves at approximately 2:30PM Tuesday through Friday

Weekend Schedule – arrives 4:30AM Saturday and leaves 2:30PM on Monday

He continuously arrives with his radio blasting and produces loud noise when he backs into a parking space every morning., The truck leaves large deposits of oil and grease on the roadway and restricts the sight line at the intersection of 58 Ave. and 81 Street. It also limits parking spaces for residents and visitors on weekends.

What he is doing is against the law and the neighbors would like the law enforced. Calls to the company have been met with nothing but intimidation and threats. Calls to CB5 and Traffic Tel. #523-0295 have been given nothing but lip service.

This party obviously moved here and is probably renting an illegal basement apartment. If this is allowed to continue it will only encourage others. Your help in clearing up this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Name withheld due to intimidation.

Dear Editor,
My name is Harry Rivellini. I reside at 60-66 75th Street, Elmhurst. I have lived here for over 5 years. When I first moved here, the dead end of the street by my house was an absolute dump. Not only were the grounds a physical eyesore, but the place was a center of illegal activities. These activities included prostitution, drug dealing, noise pollution, and trespassing on my property. These 'children' committing these activities were juvenile delinquents. I addressed my complaints to State Senator Serphin Maltese and Community Board 5. They both agreed with me and I even have proof documenting it. The police never responded to the complaints because they said it was trespassing on CONRAIL (now CSX) property and was therefore out of their jurisdiction.

In addition, there was a narrow passageway alongside this mess which residents used to walk to Eliot Avenue. This passageway provided the easiest access to Eliot Avenue. The only other option for residents to obtain this access was to either walk all the way around to 74th Street or to walk through a narrow cutout from 75th Street to 74th St. However, this cutout was not a good alternative because it is narrow and only allows one person to walk through at a time. It also was not lighted and therefore people did not feel safe walking through it.

When the Amoco Gas Station changed owners, things began to change. The new owners closed up the 'walkway' by the dead end. The reason being their insurance company said they were not going to be liable for what happened on their property. Therefore, this forced residents to go all the way around to 74th Street or use the narrow cutout.

This forced residents to take matters into their own hands. One individual, a man by the name of Frank Toomey, decided to take the lead in rallying block support. He received support from about 80 to 100 residents of the block and formed the 75th Street Block Association. The Block Association petitioned CONRAIL to build their own walkway so as to provide block residents with easy access to Eliot Avenue. Eventually a compromise was reached. This was due to now Congressman Joe Crowley's efforts in orchestrating a meeting in which I, the Block Association, and CONRAIL had a meeting.

Therefore, CONRAIL agreed to build a walkway.

CONRAIL then issued a month to month lease with the Block Association regarding the walkway with a 30 day notice on both sides. There was a 2 million dollar liability insurance policy on the walkway. The Block Association was required to keep the walkway clean and make sure there was enough lighting for it. If these conditions were not met, CONRAIL would close up the walkway. The Block Association, about a month and a half before an agreement was even reached, sent me a letter promising they were going to abide by the conditions set forth in the lease.

I would like to mention that if it was not for my efforts there would have been no walk-way. This was because CONRAIL wanted to build the walkway further from where it currently is roughly in the middle of the block. However, this would have cost the Block Association more money to build and more money to insure. This was money they did not have and therefore they wouldn't have been able to have it built. Senator Maltese's staff and I organized a compromise in which the walkway would be built in the middle to save them money, otherwise it wouldn't have been built. I supported the walkway because I also agreed that it was a good idea.

The walkway was built in 1998. Shortly after it was opened, the Block Association didn't keep the walkway clean the way it should be. Therefore, I personally helped to clean it. The walkway also became a hangout again and I risked my life to chase the delinquent teens away. This was a problem which the Block Association ignored completely.

Recently, there were no lights at the beginning of the walkway by Eliot Avenue nor were their lights at the 75th Street end of the walkway. This happened for eight months. I decided to take matters into my own hands and pressured Con Edison to repair the light by Eliot Ave. As for the end of the walkway on 75th Street, I put a motion detector by my house to light up that part of the walkway. However-, Frank Toomey, the Secretary of the Block Association, sent out fliers on the block saying that he along with his neighbor was responsible for the lighting of the walkway, when clearly it was I who was the man responsible for it.

This is just one major example of something that he took credit for that I really did. I tried to (and did) improve the quality of life for the block. But, not only did I not receive credit for it but Frank Toomey created hostility towards me among the residents of the block. I wish Frank Toomey would be man enough to get his facts straight and let the residents know who really is responsible for getting things done on this block. I would also like to mention that I am not the “snag” which he once referred to me as to the residents.

Harry Rivellini

Dear Editor,
I am wondering why with all the talk of dangerous roads in our community there is never a mention of Eliot Avenue where it goes through the cemeteries. The sidewalks are very narrow on both sides of the road, the curbs are crumbled which tells me trucks buses and cars are going on the sidewalk. On one side the lampposts force you to walk in the street to pass. I get upset when I see kids on bikes, someone pushing a baby carriage or an old person walking so close to traffic, one slip and it's all over. My daughter walks this way to and from work and she was grabbed by someone from a car, that's how close the cars are.

Last Year I wrote to Councilman Ognibene's office and I was told it was going to be a capital project, the sidewalk was going to be widened on one side and the other side was to be closed and narrowed. They told me this last summer after I called them about not responding to my letter which I had sent them in February 2001. Well, last month I called Councilman Gallagher's office and was told they have no information on any projects for Eliot Ave. and they have no record of my letter or phone calls, so I had to rewrite my requests.

I did write to CB5 and got a letter (form) back from them that was sent to DOT/ Roadway Management but that was last February and there is still no response.

I also wrote letters to the Queens Ledger, Queens Chronicle and the Juniper Berry but didn't get any feedback why do you think this is?

I know that in the past attempts have been made to straighten the road or widen it but because it involves cemeteries it was denied. But if a safe sidewalk with a barrier could be constructed on one side of the road that may be possible.

Eliot Avenue is a narrow, heavily traveled road that makes a quick turn at its most dangerous section, something should be done before there is a tragedy. My daughter is 29 years old and in good physical condition and she is always nervous walking this section. Imagine if you are a child or a senior.

Today I called CB5 and they said the DOT is going to do an inquiry on the road. Frank who works there couldn't give me anymore details.

Richard Polgar