JPCA chosen for Grassroots Preservation Award

Dear Mr. Holden,

Every year, the Historic Districts Council chooses to award a select group of neighborhood advocates for their untiring efforts to preserve, protect and improve their communities. It is my great pleasure to inform you that the Board of the Historic Districts Council has voted to award the Juniper Park Civic Association for its steadfast efforts to preserve St. Saviour’s Church.

The Grassroots Preservation Awards will be presented at HDC’s Annual Preservation Party on Thursday, May 15, 2008. The ceremony will take place in the garden and parish hall of St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, located at 10th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan. The party begins at 6pm, and the awards will begin at 6:45pm. The party will be attended by over 200 people, mostly community advocates and preservationists. If you have any questions, please contact our office at 212-614-9107.

Congratulations and I look forward to talking to you soon.


Simeon Bankoff
Executive Director
Historic Districts Council

Extend the Q45

Dear Editor,

I just read in the local newspaper that the MTA is considering extending the #45 bus to Atlas Park. This would be good for me, as I don’t drive. It would also help many of my friends, who also do not drive and find it difficult to get to the park. We would appreciate anything the JPCA could do to make this happen.

Thank you.

Annette Cappello
Member of JPCA

Stop the Q45

Dear Editor,

As a long time resident of 80th street, and even longer time tax-payer, I am appalled with the proposal to extend the Q45 bus route. Since the opening of the “The shops at Atlas Mall” traffic has become intolerable. Cars speed up and down 80 street in a dangerous manner and can barely make the turn on 64th Road without protruding onto the other side of the double yellow. It has become almost impossible to cross 80th Street without having to walk to Eliot Ave or Furmanville road. The amount of air pollution has surely increased and the amount of liter tossed from cars has heavily increased as well {when I clean the front of my house I have noticed wrappers and cups from the restaurants at Atlas e.g. Starbucks, Johnnie Rockets and Cold Stone Creamery}.

The fact that Mr. Hemmerdinger's family owns “The Shops at Atlas Mall” reeks of conflict of interest and corruption, since the bus route of the Q29 almost parallels 80th Street. The only reason for this proposal is to line the pockets of the Hemmerdinger family.

I could not see myself voting for or making contributions to anyone who supports and votes for this proposal.

Thank you,

Barry Gerlich
Middle Village

Preserving Ridgewood Reservoir

The following letter was sent to NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and a copy was sent to JPCA:

Dear Commissioner Benepe:

I am writing to you today on behalf of numerous New York City residents, civic associations and environmental/preservation organizations who have contacted my office regarding the proposed ‘redevelopment’ of the Ridgewood Reservoir complex in Ridgewood, Queens.

They have expressed serious concerns about a wide array of unintended, damaging effects that may result from the replacement of approximately 50 acres of the reservoir with athletic/recreational facilities.

It is my understanding that your agency is considering repurposing part of the reservoir’s third basin for use as an active recreation center. Unfortunately, this would require the demolition of the Ridgewood Reservoir wall, upsetting the fragile ecosystem and irreversibly decimating an important and historic Queens landmark.

While I can appreciate your attempt to promote the use of outdoor recreation spaces by our city’s families, individualized, comprehensive site review and planning is crucial. The ‘redevelopment’ of the Ridgewood Reservoir would contradict the Mayor’s 2030 plan to develop a greener, more sustainable New York City.

For these reasons, I respectfully request that you consider nature-oriented, educational alternatives to the active recreation based model currently under consideration. As always, I welcome the opportunity to participate in discussions regarding the future of this priceless community resource.


Tony Avella
Council Member
District 19 – Northeast Queens

A Van Cott connection

Dear Editor:

I was very excited to see that you are trying to save St. Saviour’s Church. I will sign the petitions. My father’s name was John Van Cott, so I wonder if the farmer John Van Cott was related to him. Keep up the good work!

Best regards,
Barbara Van Cott Pezzengrilli
Staten Island

Regarding unleashed dogs

Dear Ms. Sciulli:

Thank you for your email regarding dogs in Juniper Valley Park. We recently assigned Tony Killeen as our new Park Manager for Juniper Valley Park and District 5. I have asked Tony to address your concerns about dogs in the park.

Mr. Killeen has spoken to several of the dog owners regarding barking in the early morning hours, as well as, in the evenings. He reminded them that dogs are prohibited from the baseball fields and to clean up after their pets. Mr. Killeen informed them that park goers who do not comply with the Parks rules and regulations will be issued a summons by either the 104th Precinct or our Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP).

Our operations division has not noticed an increase in dog waste in the area where the dog owners congregate and on the ball fields during the unleashed hours. However, our staff will continue to monitor the condition of these areas.

The safety of all park users is always of the utmost concern for Parks. Sergeant Carron from the 104th Precinct has been notified and will have his staff patrol the park on a regular basis. We will continue to have the NYPD and our PEP officers monitor the park and insure the security of all park patrons.

We appreciate your interest in Parks. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding Juniper Valley Park, please call Mr. Killeen at (347) 865-5423.

Dorothy Lewandowski
Queens Parks Commissioner

Kudos to the NYPD

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter in regard to the service given by the 104th Pct. One reoccurring situation within our community involves the lack of positive feedback given to the men and women of our police force. More than ever, these people are constantly challenged with the no-win situation imposed by the insane political correctness of our time. Those who have faced this situation understand the damned if you do, damned if you don’t results of being a public servant. The current de-evolution American values further exasperates this condition to the point where doing what is right becomes wrong. The public needs to be aware that it is not the rank and file officer who is at fault but rather the political strongmen at the top, for whenever an officer does his/her job someone is there to undo it. As a result many fine officers and public servants in general are regarded with a negative stigma. I do not wish to sound patronizing because the truth is that not all public servants are responsible or honest. The reality is that every agency has more than its share of deadbeats and culls. Sadly the stigma created by these individuals overshadows the good performed by the vast majority of people. Unfortunately, the middle-class is in fact very limited as to what can be done about those who leach on and harm our society. We can however recognize and commend those special individuals who by virtue of their very nature perform their jobs in a professional and ethical manner.

I would like to recognize Lt. Klein of the 104th Pct. The Lieutenant’s reputation is one of honest and responsible service to our community. I am witness to his community-oriented service in checking areas in our neighborhood with a proactive approach. Without prior notification he has phoned me in order to follow-up on negative situations which have taken place within my area. Although the follow-up is a normal procedure it has a time limit. Lt. Klein has gone beyond this time limit, indicating his resolve to keep this community safe. He should be commended for his actions and his resolve should be used to serve as an example to others. The Lieutenant is more than a public servant of Maspeth; he is a part of Maspeth. I wish to thank Lt. Klein for his service and in particular for his recent follow-up to a situation which the 104th Pct handled several months ago.

Thank You.

Daniel Trembinski

Noise an Assault on Quality-of-Life

Dear Juniper Park Civic Association:

I am writing today to ask for your help in resolving a quality-of-life issue that has threatened my neighborhood for the past 3 years. The local VFW hall is being rented out to different groups of people on the weekends that hold parties with loud music that lasts past 1 AM. The parties have become a nuisance, keeping the neighbors awake, many of which are elderly, up till 3 AM with loud music, car alarms going off and sounds of partying that spill out onto the sidewalk. This has become a frequent occurrence during the spring and summer months and recently during the winter.

Most recently, parties were held on four consecutive nights in December with loud music playing past 3 AM. Numerous calls and pleas to the 104 Precinct were ignored. Not sleeping for four nights in a row is akin to torture!

In addition, the members of the VFW hold BBQs at least 2-3 times on week nights with loud conversations lasting past 11 PM.

This has become a serious matter for the neighbors, many of whom are frustrated and angry at the inconsiderate and thoughtless behavior of the members of the VFW and the lack of cooperation and response from the police to enforce quiet time. Had this been a business establishment, it would have been shut down a long time ago.

Name Withheld Upon Request

The Tree Protectors?

Dear Editor:

Once again the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation has proven that they often don't have a clue as to what is happening under their watch. No Parking signs for Monday, February 11, 2008 were posted on 212th Street in Bay Terrace. The restrictions were in effect from 8-4 p.m. for the purpose of tree pruning. Was this a good thing? Of course it was. For some time, we had been asking DPR to prune the trees in that location.

So what is it that makes me so unhappy? Well, the notices, which are all along the street, were affixed to the trees with large staples. So, on the one hand, Parks is maintaining the trees with a much needed pruning, but at the same time are damaging the trees by puncturing them with staples. Someone is asleep at the switch.

Warren Schreiber
President, Bay Terrace Community Alliance, Inc.