LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the September 2014 Juniper Berry Magazine

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

DUMB IS BRILLIANT

Dear Bob Holden,

Kudos to the Juniper Berry, which justs gets better and better. The tongue in cheek humor is priceless and the magazine's chock full of useful information.

The new Things that are DUMB (complete with the definition of the word dumb!) is a brilliant idea which utilizes constructive criticism to maintain and improve the neighborhood. Hopefully it will get quick results and also get more people thinking and make them more considerate. Many thanks for an excellent publication. All the photos make a big difference to help visualize.

I would definitely suggest the Juniper Berry for a journalism award of excellence if only I knew which one would apply.

Come on fellow readers, support the Juniper Berry and your community by becoming a member of the Juniper Park Civic Association for only $20 a year.

Sincerely

JC

Middle Village

BERRY ENJOYABLE

To the Juniper Berry:

My family lived in Middle Village for years. I picked up a copy of your magazine in London Lennie's and enjoyed it very much. I have many friends in Middle Village and spend a great deal of time there and I shop there too. I would like to subscribe your magazine. Thank you.

Dorothy Tempia

Elmhurst, NY

MEDICARE MESS

Dear Editor,

At the last Juniper Civic meeting there were representatives from the Social Security Administration. In the question segment I wanted to tell them my story about signing up for Medicare.

As a person who still considers himself a novice on the computer I won't do banking, pay bills or do anything too important on the computer. So when it came time to sign up I went to the SS Office on Jamaica Ave. First of all I drove there and after driving around and around I couldn't find a parking spot in the street and went into the Municipal Lot and found a spot all the way up on the top level.

Then when I entered the office there was a long line to pass through metal detectors. Yes we had to take off our shoes, belts etc. When they found my small pocket knife that is perfectly legal in NYC they said they would have to take it and I couldn't get it back when I left. They suggested I go out and hide it somewhere on Jamaica Ave. This knife was given to me by a dear departed friend but I didn't think it was a good idea to hide a knife on Jamaica Avenue, so they kept it.

Next was another long line to sign in and then take a seat. After one hour I was called to a window and was told to wait on another line that would take two more hours of waiting. When I decided to leave the clerk suggested I go to the Long Island City office because the lines are not as long there, or do it online with the computer.

So I went home and decided to try registering with Medicare on the computer and it was so easy following simple steps that even a computer novice like me could figure it out and only took 15 minutes.

Richie Polgar

Maspeth

DEM BUMS

To the Editor:

I loved Paula Lintz's portrayal of her childhood traumas as a youthful Brooklyn Dodger fan in Middle Village in the June 2014 Juniper Berry. I truly empathize with her experiences, since I grew up as a Brooklyn Dodger fan in the same era. Our home included my extended family of three siblings, parents and grandparents, as well as two uncles who were Giants fans. Like Paula, I cried, slammed doors and thought that I would never recover from that heart wrenching 1951 loss to the Giants. From there for a young Dodger fan it only got worse. Over the next few years the Bums did manage to win a few pennants only to lose in the World Series to the Damn Yankees. At that time, a lovely woman named Joan helped Mom care for all of us. Each year after the Dodgers lost to the Yankees in the World Series Joan would provide each of us with a specially labeled Dodger Crying Towel, which I managed to soak almost yearly.

Many thanks for the

memories,

Dr. Jay Luger

Middle Village

O'Neill's is Maspeth

Dear Editor

It is wonderful to have O'Neill's reopened and rebuilt to be better than ever. We have spent many enjoyable and memorable times there over the years. Most notable is my recollection of my brother, Johnny Gluckler's daily visits after retirement to enjoy the televised sporting events, wagering and a few cold beers with his buddies. He sat on the same barstool at the end of the bar each day scanning the odds makers' predictions while he completed his crossword puzzles in the NY Daily News and discussed life in the Big Apple with his cronies.

When I met him there one day, I remarked about all the newly installed TV sets around the bar and he observed, Yeah, they turned this place into a PC Richards! The comradery among his friends was strong.Once duringour telephone conversation, hejokingly said, I've gottago now because if I'm not at O'Neill's by 2:30 PM, they worry 'bout me!Upon learningO'Neill's had burned down, I had a vision of Johnny looking down from heaven directing the firemen to save my barstool.

Others also felt the magic of Maspeth and O'Neill's. One year following the St. Patrick's Day parade, we brought NJ friends there to get in on the local festivities. One of them, also known for his hours at the rail, said, I love this place. I'm leaving Basking Ridge and moving to Maspeth.

Looking back, I recall there were many taverns up and down Grand Avenue and each had its own character. I believe there were two corner bars where O'Kane Realtyand Connolly's Cornernow stand. Some had free cold cuts and salads available in the back for the customers.We often went to the Town Tavern, also known as Jerry's, after some of the social events at the Democratic Club, for a nightcap and snack. Burke's was another popular spot.

Also, it was not uncommon for some of the Bingo ladies to stop for a drink afterwards to celebrate their winnings.On Maspeth parade days, you might see strollers and bicycles outside the local pubs with the family inside at tables enjoying cokes and pretzels. Neighborhood taverns were indeed part of the community where manylifetime Maspeth residents met to share old memories and relax together. Now, while remembering the old days, new memories will be made at the new O'Neill's.

Dolores Gluckler Cullen

Lakeville, Pa.

GRAFFITI DAMAGE

Dear Editor,

I have become concerned because I have started to notice graffiti in the area especially on Grand Avenue near to Queens Blvd. Then, I saw the scribblings on a fence along our side of the service road. It was a disturbing site for two reasons: it was not abandoned or undergoing construction and the owner had tried to remove the graffiti resulting in two more writings on his fence which he has not touched. My thought is that the graffiti rather than the criminal became angry and showed the property owner what would happen if he removed more graffiti.

One morning this week I was walking around Juniper Valley Park and I was shocked to see graffiti, not much, but the criminals will probably do more damage to our area if we do not stop them. We need to discuss and organize a response to what could be seen as an attack on what we value in this neighborhood.

Daniel Thom

Middle Village

IRS TARGETING

Dear Editor,

re: Juniper Berry vol.75 No 2 Jun/Jul 2014. Ref Views page 38/39.I preface my remark with, I am a registered Republican since 1975.

All that your article says happened, but not quite in the way you make it appear. In particular the I.R.S scandal. The record shows, correctly, that the I.R.S. did in fact use code words to identify organizations. You are leaving out the simple fact, that nearly as many Democratic Organizations were targeted in the same manner.

As a wiser man than I, Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

Larry Hoffman

Response:

Thank you for your response. Your letter suggests that if there were any IRS scandal at all it included nearly as many Democratic groups as Conservative and that my June 2014 Juniper Berry article should have reflected that and not make it seem as if only conservatives groups were targeted.

To the point, there is simply no evidence to support your position. A recent 2014 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee staff report titled, Debunking the Myth that the IRS Targeted Progressives, stated that just a few applications in the IRS backlog contained the word progressive and all were then approved by the IRS, while Tea Party groups received unprecedented review and experienced years-long delays. While some liberal-oriented groups were singled out for scrutiny, evidence shows it was due to non-political reasons. At the heart of my article is the fact that in all cases, conservative groups were targeted because their political views differed from the President.

In addition, IRS agents testified before Congress that the agency's political targeting did not apply to progressive groups. And a letter from Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George to the Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives stated that just 30 percent of groups with the word progressive in their name were put through special scrutiny for tax-exempt applications, but 100 percent of groups with tea party, patriot or 9/12 in their name were subjected to invasive questioning.

In your letter you also mention that it was a relatively simple fact to see that democratic groups were also targeted in the same manner. If, as you say, it was so simple to see, why did it escape the awareness of every democratic group that was allegedly targeted since none of them, not a single democrat group came forward before Congress to testify or even register a complaint that they were targeted? Perhaps they didn't testify or register a complaint because it didn't happen as the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee staff report explained.

I stand firmly behind the language used in my article as the facts clearly prove that the IRS did indeed unjustly target only conservative groups thus partaking in dangerous, anti-American behavior that strikes at the very core of our Constitutional Republic. I fully understand that at this current juncture President Obama has not yet been implicated or directly connected to the IRS scandal but if that reality is ever realized, the only difference between what disgraced President Richard Nixon did which led to his resignation and what is happening now is that when Nixon asked the IRS to target his enemies, they refused.

Before we impart the wisdom of a quote from someone we respect to another, we should always make sure we first embrace the message ourselves. Daniel Patrick Moynihan was indeed correct.

‒ Patrick McCarthy

RADICALS RULE

Dear Editor,

The late Saul Alinsky and

his Rules for Radicals is a mainstay of the Obama Administration. Never did I think a 60's radical could influence a whole Democrat party and bring down an entire nation. However, we are now living his dream. It's also affecting state and local governments. In Elmhurst and Glendale Queens, the NY city government is going forward to set up homeless shelters in both residential areas regardless of overwhelming community objections. How would they confront this situation in Manhasset, NY? I don't think it would happen there.

Wish you would lay out the evil tenets of his philosophy of government for your entire audience. They may wish to ponder them when they cast their ballots this November.

Hugh McCaul

Middle Village

PARK PROBLEMS

Dear JPCA,

Please notify the powers that be over at the parks dept. about this ongoing event.I see this happening a lot.Sprinklers are jammed open and left on all night causing flooding. Garbage everywhere. I believe it is due to kids hanging out in this area after hours.Is there anyway this area can be locked off after 9pm? We had to call 311 a few nights ago because there were about 50 kids in there being extremely loud. I have no problems with kids in the park. I hung out there with my friends when I was a teen but these kids to not seem to have any respect for the houses around them or for the park.

Craig Patella

Middle Village

VANDALS ARE BACK ON THE HANDLE.

To the Editor:

I have taken a photo of an SUV that was parked on Lutheran Ave between 75th St. and Juniper Blvd. North. The SUV was stripped of its 4 tires. This area needs more police patrol or surveillance camera on the corner of Lutheran Ave. and Juniper Blvd. North, since robberies and garbage dumping are happening frequently. This spot seems to be a favorite for vandals whom they work unseen by the residents.

Marino Pena Middle Village.

NARROW STREETS

Dear Mr. Holden,

Something has to be done about narrow two-way streets on Grand Avenue. I live on 72nd Street up the block from Connolly's Corner. Seventy-second street is too narrow to be two-way. Trucks, sanitation pick up and some SUVs cannot pass each going in opposite direction without having to pull into someone's driveway. Cars make U-turns and frequently run up on my sidewalk mowing down the daylilies I planted by the city tree. I am fifty-nine years old and hard-of-hearing. Often, I cannot hear when a car in the opposite direction comes barreling down the street. It is also dangerous for the students who attend the nearby schools.

I have contacted the Mr. Giordano but I understand that the wheels in city government DOT grind slow. Please advocate on our behalf to speed up the process.

Kind regards,

Lorraine Abruzzo

Maspeth

good www

Dear JPCA:

Your website is fascinating. I can see that I will enjoy reading many of these articles. I am an amateur historian from Glen Cove and am investigating a certain Percy and Dora F. Krout who apparently owned the property on which my family home in the 1950's was located in Glen Cove. These people were associated with a Juniper Valley Dairy in Queens. Their ownership of a parcel where 100 houses were built just after WW II is shown on a 1942 Ryerson Insurance Co. map of the extensive Pratt properties in Glen Cove. Behind our house was a massive cow barn erected by William Tubby in 1899 which quartered the Pratt family jersey cow herd of 100 animals. This building was torn down when I was a child (perhaps in 1959 or the early 60's) and it has disappeared into history. I am assuming that the Krout's were dairymen who had some connection to both Juniper Valley and the Pratt family in Brooklyn and in Glen Cove. Do you have any information that might assist me? I would appreciate it very much.

Thanks,

Jeff Michelsen

Long Island

WASTE NOT

Dear Editor,

Middle Village and other areas started the recycle program for kitchen waste. I believe it is a good idea to recycle because it is important to stop polluting the planet. However it will not work the way it is being done by the NYC Sanitation Department and the City of New York because we have to go out and buy compostable plastic bags. The bags are not cheap, they fall apart (ferment) in the provided recycle kitchen waste container. Why don't the stores use compostable bags instead of plastic?

Also, NYC Sanitation needs to pick up this kitchen waste more than once a week. We are infested with fruit flies and maggots not to mention the horrible odor. The regular garbage is now such a small amount, does it need to be picked up more than once a week?

Dieter Keppler

Middle Village.