Letters to the Editor - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the December 2011 Juniper Berry Magazine

Letters to the Editor

Hey That's My House in 1938!

Juniper Berry Editors:

Out of the blue one day a call came from Florida. It was Linda Doerrler all excited that her house was in the Sept/Oct. 2011 issue of the Juniper Berry. "Turn to page 41," she said. In the right corner up on the hill was her house! She had a balcony over the garage. Someone was standing on it, maybe her! Her family wash was on the clothesline!

(see photo).

Linda was born and bred in that house. She and Lou, who was from Maspeth, moved to retire in Florida.

Since we had known each other from RA days and were next-door neighbors for over 25 years we keep in touch.

On a visit to them a few years back I noticed she had a Juniper Berry on her coffee table. I asked how she got it. "Just keep up your membership" she said.

I had just moved to Bayville and took up the advice. Now I'm a faithful subscriber.

I moved to Middle Village in 1940 and left in 2002. What a great place to grow up! You keep so many memories alive in the best community magazine ever. I so enjoy it!! Thank you! Thank you!

Elna Kraupner

Bayville, NY

The Late Q38

Editor:

I am a long time resident of Middle Village and am totally disgusted with the service on the Q38 line. It has gotten progressively worse, and there is no help to be had through the MTA. I've called, written complaints, emailed, etc. I've also written to Elizabeth Crowley and emailed her – she didn't even have the decency to respond.

The problem occurs in the evening rush hour – residents wait anywhere from 35 minutes to an hour for a bus at Woodhaven Blvd. and then two will come at once – when you ask the dispatcher it's always the same answer "the bus broke down" and that bus "comes from a different terminal – not our problem.

There is no dispatcher for the Q38.

Anything you can do would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,

Susan Maller

Middle Village

The MTA's response to the JPCA complaint follow...

Mr. Holden:

Subject: RE: Q38

We have had some problems recently with equipment failure, where service was affected. Some scheduled buses were missing or got out late from the College Point Depot. The schedule for the Q38 has a 12-minute headway during the AM and PM rush hour and a 20-minute headway in the middle of the day. It is also a long route entailing several traffic bottlenecks affecting the scheduled time. Road Operations is aware of the problems regarding the Q38. There is Dispatcher coverage from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM. After that the Mobile Unit divides its time to monitor this route, the Q66, and the Q19. We will continue to monitor this route and adjust service wherever possible to minimize future delays for our customers. Please apologize to Ms. Maller for her unpleasant experience.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you should have further concerns.

Diane Bobetsky

Senior Customer Service Analyst

MTA BUS COMPANY

Another dog-on-dog attack

Dear Readers:

(On Sept. 26th) while walking my dog down 82nd Street towards Eliot Avenue we were attacked by an uncollered, unleashed young pit bull that came running from across the street. The pitbull clamped onto my dog, it was only reflex that I was able to kick the attacking dog and pull my dog from his grip. By then his owner arrived and got ahold of his dog. My dog and I went running home to tend her wounds. Readers beware!

Joe Nemo

Middle Village

Running Scared in the Park

Dear Mr. Holden,

Twice this week I had uncomfortable situations with dog owners in the park. One early morning while I was walking on the track, a dog owner was running on the track with his dog running alongside him. I informed him that dogs were not allowed on the track to which he told me that there was nobody around to see it and that he was not bothering anybody. Frankly, he was bothering me but I did not say that to him.

The second incident was around 5:05am on a weekday morning. I point out the time because it's my understanding that dogs are only allowed off leash from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. In any event, two people were in the park having a conversation while their two dogs were off leash. As I passed them, one of the dogs started following behind me. I said, "Please don't let your dog come near me I don't like dogs near me. One of the dog owners responded, "Then, you shouldn't come to the park, and did nothing to keep his dog from following behind me.

It's unfortunate that some dog owners do not care if they ruin our running track or disturb the people who are walking and running there; and, it's rude, inconsiderate and downright dangerous when dog owners do not do the necessary to keep their dogs from invading other people's space and possibly hurting people.

Name Withheld

on Request

Hawks & Small Dogs

To the Editor:

I am an Elmhurst Resident who enjoys Juniper with my dogs on weekends. What needs to be done is to alert small dog owners that run through the fields that there are hawks in the area and their little teacup dogs look like nice rabbits or rats to the Red Tailed Hawk circling above. I told one person that had their teacup Yorkies off a leash and she told me to mind my business. I think it's a beautiful sight to have the hawk circling but not to eat the squirrels that should be thanked for all the wonderful trees but for keeping the unwanted rodent population down.

Thanks.

Meg Hall

Elmhurst

Editor's Response: Thanks for the warning. Also, many of the unleashed dogs are huge in size, territorial in nature and arrive with other issues. Any small dog not tended to faces more danger from other dogs than hawks flying around the ballfields!

Unfulfilled promises from a politician?

The following letter was sent to Council Member Elizabeth Crowley with a copy to JPCA:

Dear CM Crowley,

It is over a year now that you and several other of our elected officials stood in front of the Juniper Park Civic Association to address the damage and issues related to the September 16, 2010 storm.

While I believe that most have recovered from the damage of the storm, many of the promises made at the meeting have gone unfulfilled. For instance, while the Parks Department's contractors made an appearance on 77th Street between Juniper Valley Road and 66th Road, the result of their "work" leaves a lot to be desired. Case in point, the tree across from 66-15 77th Street still has dead and damaged limbs. A large limb on this tree has a jagged tear, which was never cleanly trimmed, as recommended by experts in arboriculture and which I believe is a Parks Department policy.

This unfinished work has resulted in the beginning of decay. If you could get a straight answer out of the Parks Department you will probably find that the contractor(s) were paid in full and obviously, no one is checking for completion of the work. The tree that was damaged in front of 66-21 77th Street was subsequently removed but a large stump still remains, one year later. The tree in front of 66-17 77th Street was barely touched and to this day has dead limbs and is a source of animal infestation. It should also be noted that these same trees; 66-15, 66-19 & 66-21 were identified to Mr. Bonkowski of Forestry Department in a May, 2005 letter from then Council Member Gallagher as being trees of deep concern. These are the very trees that were ignored and caused all the damage on my block.

Also at the meeting were representatives from the NYC Comptroller's Office. Meeting attendees who had sustained damages were encouraged to file claims with the City to recover losses not covered by insurance. At that point I questioned whether the Comptroller's Office was going to assign specific staff to address this issue. In response the representative from the Comptroller's office stated that specific staff would not be necessary and claims would be handled as a normal course of doing business. Unfortunately we didn't know then that normal

course of business meant delay and deny.

In addition, we were advised that anyone filing a claim should do so in a timely manner and that your office would see to it that there would be compensation. If I recall correctly the words you used were: "I'll see to it that you get paid." I distinctly remember this statement because I pointed it out to your Chief of Staff Mr. Lydon Sleeper.

Unfortunately, at least in my case and I'm not sure how many others, compensation has not been received.

First, the Comptroller's Office denied ever receiving my claim. Fortunately and with the help of your staff I was able to provide proof that the claim was filed and that the Comptroller's Office received delivery and signed a delivery confirmation return receipt. Then the Comptroller's Office made me pursue letters from my insurance company that the Insurance Company did not intend to subrogate the claims. After all this I received a letter stating my claim was denied.

After bringing the Comptroller's decision to the attention of your office Mr. Dominick Dale of your staff contacted the Comptroller's Office on my behalf but was unsuccessful in getting them to change their decision. Subsequently your office filed a FOIL Application with the Parks Department requesting information related to the maintenance of the trees on 77th St. That request was dated June 18, 2011 and to my knowledge has yet to be answered.

While I appreciate your staff's efforts in this matter your office appears to be unable to get the Parks Department to provide the requested information or to deliver on your commitment to secure compensation for the uninsured expenses sustained during the storm.

Sincerely,

Augie Trinchese

Middle Village

Shame on You

To the Editor:

Is Lutheran Avenue and Juniper Boulevard North a dump yard? I have taken a photo of a toilet thrown on the roadside. The perpetrator of this act should be heavily fined for lack of consideration and respect to law-abiding citizens. SHAME ON YOU!

Marino Pena

Middle Village

Like a Plague of locusts

To the Editor,

It is an unfortunate and strange coincidence that as I read William Powers excellent and eye opening article on living with airplanes that within hours of finishing it I was again reminded of how incredibly noisy it's getting here in Middle Village. I've been living here many years and lately it does seem that every 90 seconds an enormous jet flies so low and close to us it's difficult to carry on a conversation, hear or even concentrate. The flights are seemingly endless and the risks to our health and quality of life great. One of the remarkable things about living in Middle Village is the serenity and peace one can experience even while living a few miles from one of the most populated and loud cities on the planet. This too seems under siege, yet we have been living in the jet age for many years so why has the noise increased and grown at such an alarming rate lately?

I don't see or understand why we as residents of this area should have to be subservient to the wants or needs of the airline industry or the FAA. I am unaware of the person or committee that has steered these large jets over our precious space lately but I'd sure like to know who they are. As you are aware, we pay some of the highest property taxes for relatively small homes and we do so for the privilege of living here in relative peace and quiet. In addition we have some of the highest income and sales taxes in the nation and yet jets are descending on us seemingly closer to our roofs each week with their incredible noise and pollution like a plague of locusts.

It is time to put our collective minds together and focus on this problem now, not later, it may be too late then, better to determine who is responsible for the flight path changes and challenge this low flying scourge immediately and make sure the powers that collect our hard earned taxes and supposedly speak for us send these jets' flight paths back over the ocean where they belong. Their present flight path this close to us is simply unacceptable and we must let our elected officials know this. If we do nothing, shrug our shoulders and accept it I guarantee it will get worse until it seems we are living in an extension of LaGuardia Airport. I have no idea why this seemingly new airplane flight path and the corresponding noise and pollution seems to have happened so quickly but I can tell you it is the biggest impediment to peace and quiet I have ever experienced here in Middle Village and now my most relevant complaint.

Regards

Mark Grilli

Middle Village

Editor's Response: As in all issues pertaining to our community the answer always lies with our elected officials, the candidates we hire to represent us on Election Day. They are the ones who get paid our precious tax dollars and they should be watching our backs. It is in their constituents' offices where complaints should be lodged. We encourage you to talk to your neighbors and complain to your elected officials who are always listed on the back page of the Juniper Berry.

Juniper Calendar a hit

To the Editor:

Purchased the Juniper Valley Park calendar at Our Lady of Hope flea market. It is BEAUTIFUL!

I would suggest that the snow scenes would make outstanding Christmas cards. I will buy another to give as a gift to a son who lives out of area. WONDERFUL PHOTOGRAPHY!

Olga Tymus

Middle Village

Saving Parking Spaces

Dear JPCA

There are two reasons I am writing this letter to you. One is to bring to your attention the lack of reply regarding two questions I sent to Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley. The other reason is perhaps you can answer the two questions I sent to Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley which she did not reply to.

I sent the councilwoman a letter on October 15, 2011, asking: What New York City agency is responsible for enforcing New York City Traffic Rules and Regulations, Chapter 4 of Title 34 of the Rules of the City of New York, Section 4-08.n.7, and do they enforce it? The aforementioned statute pertains to the saving of a parking space.

What prompted me to write to the councilwoman is she was mentioned in the October 13, 2011, Vol. 10, member 41 of the Forum West newspaper. The article pertained to the saving of parking spots. The article further mentioned that the councilwoman was introducing a new bill that would allow the city to remove garbage cans left on public streets.

I waited two weeks and did not receive a reply. I then sent the councilwoman a second letter dated October 28, 2011, informing her that I did not receive a reply to my letter of October 15, 2011. Along with the second letter I sent a copy of the first letter and a copy of the article, which was also sent in the first letter.

The article mentions that the police department, in this case the 106 precinct is distributing flyers, which would indicate that the police department is responsible for enforcing that section of the law. But that has not been my experience.

I have enclosed copies of the two letters I sent to the councilwoman and the article from the Forum West newspaper.

I do not know if councilwoman Crowley routinely does not answer questions submitted to her from her constituents but I wanted to bring this to your attention since I was under the impression that the councilwoman works on behalf of her constituents. But perhaps since I am just one person she may feel that I am not worth the time and effort to answer my questions even though I am one of her constituents and pay taxes.

So, I present to you the same two questions I posed to councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley since she did not answer any questions.

Thank you,

William Wrublewski

Middle Village

Dear Mr. Wrublewski, I spoke with Capt Cody, Commanding Officer of the 104th Pct. He said the 104th Pct. will enforce the law and he has also coordinated efforts with the Dept. of Sanitation to target repeat offenders who save parking spaces. Like you, we are puzzled as to why Council Member Crowley feels the need to introduce new legislation when the current laws prohibiting saving spaces already exist.

‒ Robert Holden

Remember the Southside of Middle Village

To the Editor:

It seems that 69th Road between 79th Street and 73 Place has become a mini highway between the hours 5:30am to 9am daily. There are cars speeding over the speed limit, 30mph, down 73rd Place and 69th Road to avoid the traffic lights on Metropolitan Ave. After 9am there are trucks and trailers some over 55 feet traveling up and down 69th Road, not making deliveries but they are avoiding the lights on Metropolitan Avenue.

On 75th Street and 69th Road has had one fatal accident at least 3 hit and runs. A school bus was turned over at this intersection; eight children were on this bus, some with minor injuries. We have requested a traffic light, speed bump or stop sign on these streets. This is a very dangerous situation, which has been ignored for the last four years.

There are three new businesses on 74th Street between 70th Avenue and 71st Avenue, Citywide, CPI and Marble Company. At the end of the day, Citywide unloads its trucks and puts the garbage on the side of the building and it sits there for days. We called 311, Crowley, 104 Pct. and the Sanitation Department. No tickets were issued and it's still going on. They park their trucks in the street overnight.

There is also a tire company at the end of the street, when they get a delivery they close the street down for 2 to 3 hours. Next issue, 411 Cab Company. How is it possible this company has taken over the dead end street at 73 Place and 70th and is using it to park their cab on this street and on the sidewalks? Who owns this street, and who are they paying to occupy this area? The drivers park their personal cars in front of our homes, sometimes blocking our driveway and discarding their garbage on the street.

We need No Standing signs on the following streets: 69th Road and 73 Place; 73 Place and 69th Road; and 74 Street and 69 Road. These signs are necessary to avoid the employees of these companies and 411 Cab Company drivers from parking on the corners, blocking the walkway and obstructing the view of oncoming traffic. These issues have been discussed with Elizabeth Crowley and her staff.

Next and last issue All Faiths Cemetery, outside of the cemetery, has been taking care of the overgrown trees and shrubs once a month for the last 38 years. It seems that the union members refuse to clean up this area.

Community Board 5, Alex from the State Senator's office had arranged for volunteers from St. John's University, along with our neighbors to clean this area. It was a lot of work especially hard working with no tools.

I would like to thank the 104 Pct. for slowing down the traffic while we worked, and the Department of Sanitation for all their help.

It seems the residents on the South Side of Middle Village are never heard. We have made several sound requests to improve this area and make it a safer environment. However, it falls on deaf ears. Just remember we vote and pay taxes along with everyone else in Middle Village.

Jerry DeStefano

Middle Village

Last Stop: Middle Village

Dear Sir,

I am researching my family history and am trying to get information about my grandfather, who built a home in Middle Village in the early part of the 20th century. He chose Middle Village for a very practical reason. After work at the Sperry Gyroscope Co. on Flatbush Ave. he would take the Myrtle Ave. El home. But, he would often fall asleep, miss his station and be wakened by the conductor at the end of the line: Metropolitan Ave.

His family needed to move and he chose a site near the Metropolitan Ave station. When he built his home the land was very open. I assume that it was primarily farmland.

I would like to find out when he purchased the land, built the house and then later sold it. Thank you for your assistance.

Sincerely,

Peter A. Pospisil

A bunch of Back Berrys

Dear JPCA:

Just a note to sincerely thank you for your quick service in shipping out my order of 35 back issues. I had requested issues before Apr/May 2010 be sent and you fulfilled the order to a T.

I was hoping I would get them before my Thanksgiving cruise so I could take a few along for enjoyable reading. Believe me I read them from cover to cover (devouring every article). I lived on 80th St., near the famous tanks, from 1937-got married in 1952 moved to Maspeth. Then back to Elmhurst where we purchased our first home on 77th Place. Next location was Flushing then Plainview L.I. Next move was to S.E. Fla. in 1975.

Once again thank you for making my day!!!!!!!

Florence Mannino Lighthouse Pt., Florida

PS49 Rezoning

To Linda Kelleher:

I loved your editorial about rezoning PS 49 (junipercivic .com) and agree that we cannot divide our neighborhood over this. My children attended this school years ago. I just saw that with the new zoning proposal, I would be outzoned and I live three blocks from the school! If you look further, you will find that the problem goes way beyond parents lying about their addresses. It's about the principal granting an enormous amount of variances to anyone who asks! I bet he stopped this year because of the heat about overcrowding but he has always been the first one to brag about how many parents from outside the zone have flattered him by complimenting the school and then him granting a variance.

I don't know if there is an official way that variances are tracked but if you ask ANY parent in the schoolyard, they could name at least a few families who are attending because the principal granted the variance. At a conservative 10 variances a year, multiplied by 8 grades, each family has more than one kid in the school and I guarantee it amounts to over 100 children! It is a disgrace that this principal abused his authority and we now have neighbor fighting neighbor over a few seats.

A Concerned Neighbor

Middle Village

Gov RX Mess

To the Editor:

It seems like the NYC Democratic Party does not remember the Mark Green fiasco. By the way we have a governor here in Florida we would all like to send up to you. By the way just what the hell is Andrew Cuomo thinking? He is screwing up our medical prescription plan big time.

William LaBarr

Florida

Illegal Aliens

Dear JPCA:

I would like to thank your Association for standing strong against the illegal immigrants.

John

Warwick, NY