De Blasio pre-judging Holden

I cannot get over the immature and irrational response our mayor had when questioned about Bob Holden's victory over incumbent Liz Crowley after the election. First, de Blasio claimed not to know Bob – an outright lie. While the two may not have met formally, I am certain de Blasio is very familiar with the name. After all, Bob has been corresponding with City Hall regarding many issues including bike lanes homeless shelters, motel conversions and plans to close Rikers Island. I personally attended a press conference in front of City Hall and the mayor sent several of his staff down to talk with us. Then, to suggest that they will probably not see eye-to-eye on things is predicting problems. Finally, to say that “Bob signed up for something very troubling in my book” is surely not paving the way for a good relationship.

Lee Rottenberg, Middle Village

Thanks to Juniper Valley Animal Hospital

There are so many negative things happening, I thought I’d post something really sweet. We had to euthanize one of our cats a couple of weeks ago. I called my regular vet, explained the situation, and they told me they were booked and we could not get an appointment. This was my cat’s vet! So, I called Juniper Valley Animal Hospital because they work with the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and I take my Labs to them. I explained the situation and without hesitation they gave me an appointment. In the times I have been there in the past year, I have never seen a more professional and caring staff. When we left, they offered condolences and I thought that was it. Today, THIS came in the mail. What an incredibly kind and thoughtful gesture. The way you treat people matters. This act deserves to be shared.

Maria Mikol, Middle Village

In appreciation of local history

Hi, I am writing in reference to this article I found: “The Lamplighter of Olde Middle Village” by Dorothy Speer. Frank Bello use to live in our house at 66-25 79th Street. He then moved next door to where his daughter still lives today. There really aren't enough records about the history of Middle Village. I will never forget the stories Frank told us. Thank you for keeping the history alive.


Joseph Renna, Middle Village

Track used for picnicking

I'm writing to you concerning the running track. As you know, the track and soccer field are both widely used on weekends. However, the folks that come to watch the soccer games are picnicking in that area and they are spilling onto the track. They have tables, coolers and umbrellas right on the fringe. Thus, there are bicycles, skateboards, scooters and strollers in the first 2-3 lanes from the children who accompany them. Additionally, people even have setup umbrellas on the inner circumference of the track. While the park is for everyone, some are interfering with others' use of the park. I won't go into the issue of the garbage left behind or the large bags of it that are thrown by the train tracks. That 's another issue which I am sure is being addressed.

It would be appreciated if you could use your influence with the Parks Department to enforce a ban of some kind that keeps people from making this their picnic area. There are other areas for that and the bleachers are there to view the games. We are way beyond the “No wheels of any kind on the track” sign. Thanks in advance for anything you can do.

Deborah Crane, Kew Gardens

Memories of Maspeth, Midville and Rego Park

Dear Editor,

By separate correspondence I am forwarding a paid subscription request to your fine publication.
You might be surprised to learn that many of us who spent our early years in places like Fresh Meadows, Douglaston and Great Neck had no concept of places like Maspeth, Middle Village or Rego Park. In 1947 when my parents and I moved to the New York Life Fresh Meadows apartments there were no feelings of community involvement. There were no Catholic churches or schools. The local public elementary school [PS 26] was just being built as was a synagogue on Union Turnpike. When asked where we lived many would say near the Nassau County border. Years later I dated my future wife from Rego Park. What an eye opener! German, Polish, Greek, Italian and Jewish community restaurants and the weddings! On top of that, I learned that my great grandfather, Samuel Grennon, played a significant political role in Astoria/Long Island City along with his mentor Battle Axe Gleason in the early 20th century. He later served as Superintendent of Highways and later appointed by the Governor as State Supervisor or Highways. Should you have any further info on him, I would appreciate a reply. As I guess you can see, it is your publication that has initiated my wife and I revisiting our memories of times past. Finally, I am very aware of the many changes that have occurred and are occurring in Queens which makes me even more appreciate your efforts in preserving the area's history.
Thank you.

Tony Moran, Littleton, N.C.

Hydrant parking scofflaws

I live on 83 Street and have for almost 30 years.  The current problem on the block involves cars parked overnight at hydrants.  This happens two or three times a week.  This is a safety hazard that could result in the loss of lives. It has become a problem only in the last few months.  I called the precinct and was left on ‘permahold.’  Another problem we encounter is vans with out-of-state commercial plates and also ambulance transport vehicles.  Neighbors and I have reported such vehicles, the police have come, chalked the sidewalk and tires, put a notice on the windshield informing the owner that the car would be towed in seven days.  Amazingly on the sixth day the car is moved.  Two solutions, the seven day requirement should be lifted on commercial vehicles and they should be towed immediately.  Secondly, police cars should patrol the street and be cognizant of the hydrant locations.  We have more residents looking for parking spaces and these spaces shouldn’t be taken by recidivist commercial vehicle owners who consistently flaunt our traffic regulations. 
Name withheld, Middle Village 
Requesting a sensory garden 

Dear Editor: 
The reason for this email is to suggest a sensory garden be built in the small park (b/w 80th & Dry Harbor Road) for the Middle Village Community. 
Many neighborhoods have community and school gardens but my proposal is something different.  The idea of a sensory garden would be for the residents of the community who suffer fro dementia, memory loss, children with autism or processing issues, and for their caregivers.  There are no neighboring communities that I know of that offer this for these specific residents of there community.  As a school nurse here in Middle Village I'm aware of the needs the community as I speak with children, their parents, and other residents who are caring for their own family members.  These chronic conditions have all touched someone we know or someone in our own family. 
People suffering from these conditions and their caregivers can have the opportunity to reconnect with the environment from having a multi-sensory experience.  Sensory gardens are a non-pharmacological intervention to improve mood, sleep patterns and well-being, and they decrease agitation and anxiety.  This type of garden would contain selective plants, wind chimes, a water foundation, and children's art.  To take it a step further, maybe our neighborhood business owners and residents can all take part in pulling this together.  How great would it would be if we could hold community activities, horticultural therapy activities, and events in the future for the community and nursing homes? 
To find information on this type of garden you can search The Planting Field Arboretum in Oyster Bay and The Therapeutic Sensory Garden in Shoreham.  I would like to have an opportunity to discuss the possibility of a sensory garden for the Middle Village Community and all the wonderful benefits it could provide for our neighborhood. I look forward to hearing from you. 
“Gardening is medicine that does not need a prescription and has no limit on dosage”, author unknown.   
Best regards, 
Cindy Ciulla, Middle Village 

Backbone of the community

Dear Bob, Amy and family,

Thank you so very much for all you do, for all you have done and for all you continue to do. Knowing that you and your family are the backbone of our community made our lives less stressful. There was always Bob to go to – he will know how to fix the problem. There is an explanation to the craziness in the world when we think, “Why are so many seeing circumstances so differently?” Daring to be different, may I share a short passage I like from the Bible: “The Christian must have the courage to follow Christ, he must therefore follow his conscience even in unpopular causes. He must, if necessary, be able to disagree with the majority and make decisions that he knows will be according to the gospel and teachings of Christ, even when others do not understand why he is acting this way.”

“Dare to be different” and you have once again, proving to reach for the star, climb the mountain, with all odds against you and you are the winner. God’s got your back and so do we. It was a pleasure to be on your team. Thank you for all your hard work. Thank you for the hope of making a difference for our younger generations.

Congrats with love,

Ron and Maryann Todzia, Maspeth

A green eyesore

I would like to report something that I feel is very embarrassing and unsanitary. There is an abandoned patch of greenery in front of 73-09 Metropolitan Avenue. I have attached photos and as you can see it is a disaster and a real eyesore to local patrons. It would be greatly appreciated if you could mention this in your next issue. Thank you very much!

Giovanna Messina, Middle Village

Glendale needs help with its traffic and safety

For years I have written letters to various agencies and officials asking for the dangerous intersection of Myrtle Avenue and 80th Street to be addressed. Currently, when the Q29 bus ends its route it parks on 80th Street at Myrtle Avenue. These buses occupy the entire south-bound lane, requiring cars to move partly into the north-bound lanes to pass. The buses also block the view of all traffic on 80th west of the intersection. There have been several near misses involving cars and people due to the buses presence. The city needs to move parked Q29 buses to its first stop on 81st street where it can occupy its assigned stop without causing a hazard for people and vehicles.

Michael Josephson, Glendale

Bike lanes on busy streets?

This question is for the bicyclists in the group: I’m just curious about something and maybe I’m naive or ignorant and I’m sincerely not trying to be disrespectful, I’m just asking. Do bicyclists HAVE TO ride on main streets like 80th, Eliot, Grand Ave, Woodhaven, Queens Blvd and 69th that are already congested with cars and need the multiple lanes to handle the volume? Can bicyclists get to their destination just as efficiently and far more safely if they use side streets, only accessing the main streets when necessary?

Denise Carbone, Middle Village