Letter to the Editor Dec. 2013 - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the December 2013 Juniper Berry Magazine

Letter to the Editor Dec. 2013

Food Cart Blight

Our first, seemingly permanent, food cart vendor has appeared in Middle Village in front of the Walgreens on Eliot & 80th. I noticed it last week and this week as I exited the Q38 on my way home from work. I am concerned that this will encourage other vendors to open shop in Middle Village. If you don't believe it's such a big deal, take a walk along Jackson Height's Roosevelt Avenue to witness the negative impact these peddlers have on the quality of life in an average Queens neighborhood.

I'm guessing this new food cart business is there because it has a legal right to be there, or because the fines aren't steep enough to encourage it to leave. I also believed that business mega-giant Walgreens had agreed to respect the residents of Middle Village by maintaining the quality and integrity of their location. Regardless, food carts are a blight to residential neighborhoods, a health hazard, and certainly unnecessary in a small community like Middle Village. I certainly hope you take some action to remove them or mitigate their influx. No doubt many have scampered away from the elite island of Manhattan, in response to Bloomberg's justifiably strong hand, in search of an easy, virgin location. Well, this one found Middle Village. Lucky us.

Michael Moreno

Middle Village

Food Cart van on sidewalk

To whom it may concern,

I attended the JPCA Town Meeting last night. I was surprised to find out that the police have to allow the food cart owner to drive his vehicle on the sidewalk to place, and remove the cart. Is that how they do it in Manhattan? Anyway, last week a few of my neighbors and I called 311 when the guy parked his van in the crosswalk at 81 St and Eliot Avenue. We started calling at 10 AM when I got home at 5 PM it was still there. When I called the 104th Pct. the Police Officer who answered the phone first said "we sent someone out and it wasn't there, maybe he left and came back." (Very condescending) Then he told me I should call 311. I told him I did. He went to the 311 computer and said he didn't see any reports. I offered him the ticket numbers and he said he couldn't look it up with those and asked if I called it in anonymously, I told him I did. I asked if he realized that nobody around here wanted the cart he said "No, why don't you want it there?" I explained because of the litter that would come from it and eventually the rodents. I asked if he could just send a car to give the guy a ticket for being parked in the cross walk. He said if he gets an available car he would. The car showed up and the cop first looked like he dialed the cell number that's on the cart from across the street. Then the cart owner came out and the cop walked with him to his van and let him move it without giving him a parking ticket. It was there for over 6 hours. I know Mr. Holden understands that the community doesn't want the cart there. I didn't want to put the cops on the spot last night and was hoping that Mr. Holden could speak to some of his friends at the precinct.

The van he uses has a cracked windshield and the driver's side taillight or brake light isn't working. I don't think the cops have to give him a break for that as they claim they do for letting him drive on the sidewalk. If they get there when he arrives at around 10:30 AM or at around 8:30 PM they can give him a ticket for the latter mentioned violations – every day until he fixes them. My friend is a NYC Police officer and said they can give him tickets until he fixes it and also said that they can give him a ticket for a cracked windshield even

when the car is parked.

Thanks,

Rob Kraus

Middle Village

It doesn't belong on Eliot

To the Editor:

On Monday October 14, I went to Walgreens on 80th Street & Eliot Avenue. On the way in I noticed a food cart on the sidewalk. Walgreens said they contacted the police who advised that the vendor had a permit and was 20 feet from the store so there was nothing they could do. Do we really want food vendors with carts along our streets? It makes the neighborhood look trashy, not to mention that there will be garbage dropped on the streets. As a homeowner, I feel this will affect our property values, not to mention a loss to our local businesses. I don't feel food carts belong here at all! Your organization does great work; hopefully you can do something about this as well. Thank you.

Middle Village Resident

Leave food cart alone

To the Editor:

I think the Juniper Berry is great; it definitely gives you the latest on the news in our small town area. I want to tell you about the Halal truck on the sidewalk of Walgreens. I am aware that many people are afraid this will bring in people of their own kind and that it's not a good idea. In my opinion as a civilian of Maspeth and Middle Village this guy deserves a chance before being judged by others. I myself was puzzled by the appearance of this Halal truck but if you take one bite into the Lamb Gyro for $5 with a free soda I'm sure you will reconsider. This Halal truck serves the best gyro I have ever tasted! My mouth was exploding with flavor, it left me wanting more. I strongly suggest before you judge, go try it. Leave this poor man alone. He is just trying to make business like everyone else.

Thank you,

Michelle Reyes

Reply ‒ you miss the point. Walgreens is not happy with him based right outside their door. Also, the view of westbound cars on Eliot Avenue is blocked because of this food cart right next to a bus stop. The marketplace will determine if this Halal food cart survives where it is.

To the Editor:

I am a resident of Middle Village, I am writing to you regarding the Halal Food Truck on Eliot and 80th Streets in front of Walgreens. I find this food truck to be an extreme eyesore. It does not belong in our neighborhood. It has no business being there especially at night with its annoying flashing lights. We need to rally together to have this food truck removed before Eliot Ave is lined with them!

Thank you,

Rosetta Poltie

Middle Village

Food truck Eyesore

To the Editor:

I would like to inquire about the food cart on the sidewalk in front of Walgreens Drug Store on Eliot Avenue. First he is using a generator without a permit. Second he is blocking the pedestrian walkway. Third he has lights illuminating at night and he is noisy, creating a problem for the nearby residents. This is a residential neighborhood and this type of thing does not belong. Is there anything that can be done to have this eyesore removed?

Respectfully ,

Peter McMahon

Maspeth bypass plea

Dear community leaders and officials,

1. Maurice Ave should be changed back to a two-way street as it was in the past. The one-way streets on Maurice Ave have hurt the businesses along Maspeth Avenue, 58th Street and Maurice Avenue. The traffic count along these streets is currently less than 25% of what it was before the changes. Drivers avoid driving through this area and all of the retail businesses that depend on the vehicular traffic for potential customers have lost these customers. I understood that the one-way streets were necessary because the DOT officials projected a large increase in truck traffic going through this intersection. There has been no increase at all and a drastic decrease in truck and car traffic. From the past meetings with the DOT and Community Boards 2 & 5, I understood that they would change the one-way streets if they hurt the businesses. Nobody followed up with any of the businesses.

2. We need pedestrian crosswalks at the intersection of Maspeth Avenue at 57th Place and at the intersection of Maurice Avenue at Maspeth Ave. Also, there are no crosswalks for pedestrians to safely cross the streets at the intersection of Maspeth Avenue at 57th Place and Maurice Avenue at Maspeth Avenue. Pedestrians are literally running across the street to avoid being struck by a vehicle. Crosswalks and a traffic light or stop sign should be installed. Pedestrian ramps already exist at all of these intersections.

3. We need a traffic light at Rust Street and Maspeth Avenue. There have been too many accidents at this intersection. I also understood that an alternative to the one-way streets is to install a traffic light at the intersection of 58th Street and Maspeth Avenue, which I believe should be considered. As a prerequisite a traffic light at Maspeth Avenue and Rust Street would be necessary.

I understood that there would be a traffic light installed on Maspeth Avenue and Rust Street and this traffic light was of high importance since there have been hundreds of accidents at this intersection. As of November 2012, no LIRR trains run on the Montauk branch, there have been no LIRR passenger trains passing through the intersection at Maspeth Avenue and Rust Street anymore and therefore this light should be easier to install. The LIRR plan is to discontinue their automatic block signal system at this intersection. There are between one, or two freight trains passing through this intersection on a daily basis. Some days there are no trains passing by at all.

4. In addition, there has been excessive enforcement by the NYS DOT vehicle truck inspections and enforcement at the intersection of Maspeth Avenue and Rust Street. There has also been excessive police moving violation enforcement for the no turns at Maspeth Avenue and Rust Street. This excessive enforcement has also deterred drivers from driving by this intersection to avoid the possibility of receiving a summons and as a result they drive on Grand Avenue as an alternate route. This is exactly the opposite of what the plan was for the Maspeth Bypass. Can the NYS DOT perform truck inspections on Grand Avenue instead and maybe the drivers and trucks would avoid Grand Avenue?

I would appreciate any feedback.

Nick Diamantis

Dog in distress

To the Editor:

On October 2, 2013 at 4pm there was a dog left tethered on short rope, inside Brennan Field in extreme heat! Dogs are not permitted inside Brennan Field in the first place. The dog was panting and barking incisively. Dog's obvious distress was ignored by sports coaches, as they continued to practice sports, commenting, it is "very sad" for the dog, yet, not taking the time to report it to the park attendant or to call the authorities. I phoned 311 and was transferred to ASPCA, which was an automated answering machine that reconnected me to 311 and then the phone disconnected!

When I saw a park attendant driving around in a dark green official Parks Department truck, I stopped him and notified him of the situation. He seemed very annoyed and disinterested. This is an ongoing issue within Juniper Valley Park, irresponsible dog owners are tethering their dogs inside Brennan Field where they are not permitted and even worse, they are left with no water in extreme heat, barking, panting and in obvious distress! Dog owners often do not pick up after their dogs and ignore leash rules. Recently, a child was charged by a large dog that was off leash during hours that required dogs to be leashed. No corrective action was taken. No one is supervising, nor intervening in any way to enforce dog leash and dog sanitation rules. This leaves park visitors in a hazardous situation.

Very Truly Yours,

Ms. Carol Marano

Response: The next time there is any problem in Brennan Field go over to the field house and ask for Rene Herrerra, Park Manager, CB5 or Millie Cruz, Park Supervisor, and tell them about the problem. They are based in the Brennan Field park house and they are in charge and should help when there's a problem with dogs or anything else that is inappropriate in Brennan Field or anywhere else in Juniper Valley Park. It is their job to keep order in the park.

Memories of Middle Village

The following letter was sent to Stevanne Auerbach

Hi – My name is Robert Henry and I've written several articles for the Juniper Berry Magazine over the past few years. I grew up in Elmhurst, Queens and was born in 1955. I loved your article about your memories of Middle Village. It brought back many memories for me as well. So many of the places you wrote about I can remember very well, and the funny thing is I rarely can remember a person's phone number today since they are on my contact list in my cell phone but my first phone number was TWINING 8 3273, never forgot that number. I hope you will continue to share some stories with the magazine. Both Robert Holden and Loraine Sciulli are two of the nicest people. They do so much to keep Middle Village and its surrounding areas safe and respectful to all of the residents.

My best regards,

Robert Henry

Florida

Hi Robert

You are the first to write about the article "Memories of Middle Village" that I wrote for the September issue of Juniper Berry. It's my birthday on Sunday and a great way to celebrate that I can still remember.

I am delighted to see the article and to hear from you. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to reading your articles. Please add your comments on site also. Hope fellow students in that photo will respond and we can reconnect after all of these years.

Thanks to Robert Holden, Lorraine, and others with the Juniper Park Civic Association for doing such a great job to help keep Middle Village alive and well. We share many warm memories.

Best ahead,

Stevanne

Hello Dr. Auerbach,

I just wanted to write to tell you how much I enjoyed your article in the September/October 2013 edition of the Juniper Berry entitled "My Memories of Middle Village." As a lifelong resident of the Maspeth / Middle Village area, I could relate to a number of items you mentioned in the article. I was born in Horace Harding Hospital, went to Grover Cleveland High School & Queens College, taught Math at Grover Cleveland for three years, and retired from the NYC Police Department as a Lieutenant after twenty years' of service. Doing real estate part-time while a civil servant led me to a full-time career. When I read that your mother's house at 61-46 79 Street, Middle Village, had a brick arch at the entrance to the front, I recalled that your husband had showed me the house several years ago when he requested that I do a Comparative Market Analysis ("CMA"). I'll probably live in Middle Village for the rest of my life, but if I ever did move, San Francisco would be the only place I would go!

Best regards!

Donna Rivello,

O'Kane Realty

Dear Editor,

As a long time member of Maspeth and Middle Village I enjoy your Juniper Berry to no end. You have asked for assistance in identifying the students in the photo of June 1952 graduating class of PS 49. The following information may help to a small degree -

Row 4 – 1st girl is Ruth Crechanowaski (O'Hehir) deceased 3/13/13. She stayed in Middle Village all her life and we raised our four children here.

5th girl is Paula Goldberg. The last contact we had with Paula she was living in Kingman, Arizona.

I wish you continued success and keep up the good work.

Sincerely,

David J. O'Hehir

Middle Village

Southside Jerry

Dear Mr. Austin:

I would like to address some of the statements made by you in the Juniper Berry, Vol.74, No 3, Sept./Oct. 2013

First Issue

The property along the side of All Faith's Cemetery on 73 Place is your responsibility, according to a letter I have received from Maura McCarthy, Queens Borough Commissioner. I left a copy at the office of State Senator Addabbo, and was told they would forward it on to you. In case you did not receive it, I am enclosing a copy for you.

Second Issue

When the volunteers arrived and did such a great job, all I could offer them was my support, and my appreciation. I could not help with the clean-up due to an injury I had several years ago. When the news media arrived, (perhaps you had a "lapse in memory") YOU invited me to join you and a Lieutenant from the Department of Sanitation for the picture.

Third issue

I put all my time and effort calling every office possible who would listen. So Dan, this is not just talking, I was taking action and following it through. Our community deserves a clean and safe environment.

This is the real story. Dan.

Very truly yours,

Jerry DeStefano

Southside of Middle Village

This is the letter referred to in the above letter relating to All Faith's Cemetery-

To whom it may concern:

The All Faith Cemetery is responsible for the maintenance of its property. This includes vegetation along the side of the road at 73 Place. If overgrown vegetation continues to present a problem a request can be made of the Department of Sanitation to inspect the location.

Thank you for your interest and I hope this information is helpful to you.

Sincerely, (signed)

Maura McCarthy

Queens Borough Commissioner of DOT

Editor's Note:

There have been several different opinions as to the ownership of the parcel of land located at 73 Place, Middle Village. The opinions differ depending on who benefits from what is actually correct. According to All Faiths Cemetery,

former Commissioner of the Department of Transportation is wrong. Ms. Maura McCarthy gave an opinion that has not been substantiated.

It should be noted that at the time of this writing, All Faiths Cemetery has started the process of purchasing the above mentioned property from the City of New York, and if successful, All Faiths Cemetery has dynamic plans for the said property.

Crowley Campaign Mess

Hi,

I'm not sure who to contact about this, please excuse me if you're not the one I should bother. At approximately 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 7, 2013 I almost slipped on a dump pile of Elizabeth Crowley election pamphlets on the corner of 80th Street and Juniper Boulevard South. The pamphlets were dumped in the same spot where her poll worker was standing on Election Day, Tuesday,

November 5th.

Is Juniper Valley Park now Elizabeth Crowley's personal garbage can?

Sincerely,

Candace Chu

Middle Village

Hi Candace – We called Dominick Dale of Elizabeth Crowley's office and he said he would take care of cleaning up the election litter. Thanks for reaching out to find a solution to removing the litter.

Followup:

Hi Lorraine and Bob – Here's a quick follow-up on the dump pile of Elizabeth Crowley election pamphlets (corner of 80th Street and Juniper Boulevard South).

As of 11:30 a.m. today (Friday, Nov. 8, 2013), the dump pile is still there, even after you called Crowley's office and they promised to take care of it. This garbage has been dumped there since Tues. Nov. 5, 2013 (Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri).

The garbage is not strewn all over the place like it was yesterday (regrettably, I didn't get a picture of it yesterday). Someone has pushed it over to the side, possibly to prevent schoolchildren and others from slipping on it.

I'm very disappointed in Elizabeth Crowley's shocking level of disrespect to all the volunteers who work so hard to keep Juniper Valley Park clean. I'm alarmed that Crowley does nothing when her garbage places the park at risk of a lawsuit for a potential slip and fall.

Sincerely,

Candace Chu

St. Margaret's TRaffic

To the Editor:

I address myself to an ongoing situation that affects the students and families of Saint Margaret, as well as all concerned persons of the area. For some time now, I have been trying, with the help of parents, Councilwoman Crowley, our precinct and others, to receive help in regard to the difficult and perilous traffic situation present on Juniper Valley Road between 79th and 80th Street. The Saint Margaret family sincerely appreciates all of the help these good people have tried to give us.

At dismissal time, almost 400 young people and their parents, at staggered intervals, are leaving the building. We have tried to do our part: our dismissal times are now staggered more than last year, and we release students from as many different exits as possible.

But we need help from the city government itself. We need help from those who make these important decisions. This help has not been forthcoming. I have heard no direct responses from the Department of Transportation and the one time any such persons visited was well after dismissal.

Unlike many other schools in our area, Saint Margaret has no Speed Limit Signs designating that it is a school area. We have one , hardworking crossing guard on 80th street, but no crossing guard at the corner of 79th and Juniper Valley Road where many students exit. Additionally, we have no all way stop sign that I have been requesting for two years on the same corner.

I realize that not all of these measures can be achieved. However, for the good of the young people in our care, is it not possible that someone in the city can get us some of these things? Or shall we wait until a tragedy strikes as we have all sadly heard about in Maspeth this September?

Sincerely,

Dr. Philip Franco Principal

To the Editor:

For many years there was always a free street tree request in the Juniper Berry which was a very good thing. Why haven't I seen them in recent issues? You do a great job with the magazine!

Thank you,

Susan Weber

Middle Village

Response: The answer is simple. All you have to do to order a tree is call 311 and make sure you keep track of the control number they give you so you can check the status of your request online from time to time. Thank you Susan, be well and thank you for your kind words.