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

Originally published in the June 2015 Juniper Berry Magazine

Letters to the Editor

Questions about Commercial Parking

Hello, I have a few questions regarding parking on my local streets overnight. Recently, home owners and tenants have been parking their work cars, trucks, and vans without commercial license plates on my block taking up two to three spots each. There are very limited spots as it is. Even people who do not live on the block will come and drop their giant vans here and then drive away in another car. Do you have any suggestions on what can be done? Or is there nothing I can do because they have regular license plates? Thank you.

Nicole Haufe

Editor: A commercially used vehicle without commercial plates runs afoul of DMV regulations as well as overnight parking regulations. Submit the make, model and license plate number to JPCA and we will forward it to the 104th Pct for investigation, possible summons and/or towing.

Select Bus Nightmare

What can we do to fight the Woodhaven Blvd/Cross Bay Blvd Select Bus Service? After reading the article in the Queens Chronicle about the proposed bus lane divisions and restricted left turns off Woodhaven Blvd traveling both North and South, I believe this will hurt Middle Village.

Anyone in favor of this plan does not live in the area that will be impacted. The streets where left turns will be permitted, as well as the first left and right turns off of these streets, will experience a huge increase in traffic. These are residential roads that were changed to one way streets several years ago to lower the instances of car accidents with pedestrians (and mainly children). We need to stop this irresponsible and unacceptable plan for the sake of our neighborhood!

Helen Loser, Middle Village

Editor: Queens Community Board 5 has submitted a letter to DOT in opposition to the Select Bus Service plan. Members of the community may submit their opinions to the commissioner directly via this website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/contact/contact-form.shtml

A greenmarket for Juniper?

I am contacting you to request a Greenmarket at Juniper Valley Park for the spring, summer and fall months. Grow NYC is a non-profit which offers wholesale produce and other grocery items. Also Grow NYC offers education to the public about composting, recycling and caring andsustaining our environment. I believe Juniper Valley Park is the perfect venue for a Greenmarket. Please let me know what you think. Also are all decisions regarding the Park brought to the civic association? Does the NYC Parks Department need to approve of any events held at the Park? Thank you for your time!

Lauren Yurasits

Editor: Generally, the civic is notified of events that are scheduled to happen at area parks via elected officials and the community board. The NYC Parks Department must approve all organized events at Juniper.

Seeking old photo

My parents are long-time residents of Middle Village. I would like to know how I can obtain a photo of what the property and the area looked like prior to their house being built. I believe the house was built around 1938.

Their address is 83-31 62nd Avenue. The cross streets are Dry Harbor Road and Caldwell Avenue.

Thank You, Henry Grigorian

Editor: You can look at aerial images of NYC from 1924 and 1951 as well as more recent years at nyc.gov/citymap.

Enter address and choose map type. The address provided was in the middle of a farm field in 1924

Love Berrys

I grew up in Middle Village and look forward to getting this magazine! Thank you!

Edward G. Harvey, Floral Park

The ugliest corner in Middle Village?

I've been reading your fine publication for quite a while. Can anything be done about the filthy conditions at the old Artistic Stitch building on the corner of Metropolitan and 69th? I passed there today and there is a growing mountain of garbage with visible vermin. Thanks,

Paul Benjamin, Middle Village

Editor: We have reported this property several times and have featured it on our eyesores page multiple times. The best thing to do is to keep reporting the condition to 311.

Sneakers as eyesores

I own my house on 63rd Avenue in Middle Village. I've noticed that on the phone/cable wires on 84th Street and Dry Harbor Road, the tenants from the Rego Park apartments are throwing their old sneakers over the lines! Kind of reminiscent of Red Hook Brooklyn or the Bronx! Can the JPCA please contact whatever authority it is to secure the wires to remove these sneakers? What an eyesore it is. Thank you.

Sharon Brown, Middle Village

Thanks for the memories

I love your magazine and have been a faithful subscriber for several years. I was delighted to receive the March/April 2015 issue, and couldn't wait to read it. Unfortunately, all I got was the cover but no inside pages. (USPS ain't what it used to be.) I would be very grateful if you would please send me another copy.

Thanks for the interesting articles and photos. I enjoyed seeing the Yesterday & Today in this latest issue, showing 69th Street corner of Caldwell Avenue, Maspeth.I remember, growing up on 70th Street near Eliot Avenue in Maspeth in the 40's and 50's, my mother bought all her meat in that store which was then known (at least to us) as Koch's Butcher Shop.

Thanks for your help in getting a full edition of this March/April Juniper Berry.

Helen Christman Markey, Ramsey, NJ

Follow up:

Dear Robert,

How impressed I am with your Customer Service Department (i.e., you!)

Thanks for not only getting another Berry out to me, but taking the time to write.Here's a thought: my husband just pointed out to me that some publications (e.g., Viking Cruise brochures)arrivewith circular stickers (about 1-3/4 diameter)at top and bottom to keep the brochure intact.This would cost less than envelopes.

Enjoy the day, and know that your customer service is outstanding, and greatly appreciated. Helen

Basements vs. Cellars

As the only site I could find that addresses this issue, I hope you can answer my question. Can a cellar or basement apartment in Queens be rented? What regulations must it comply with or what regulations make it illegal?

Thanks for any assistance.

Eric Weil

Editor: Cellar apartments can never be legalized. Basement apartments may be in certain circumstances. Check the property's certificate of occupancy to find out if a basement apartment is authorized or not.

Clarification of photo date

In 2 issues you list the Metropolitan Fire Company No. 12 photograph as being 1905 in the June 2014 edition and 1903 in the December 2014 edition. My grandfather, Louis Baisel, is in the photo at the very top and on the back cover bottom row 9th from the left. I believe both dates were incorrect because the city took over firefighting duties in 1913. My grandfather was born in 1888 and would have been 15 or 18 when these pictures were taken. He lived next door to the Linnemann family on 62-32 62nd Road. I still have his badge. I loved the article Art Linnemann wrote. Our families were very close.

Peter Calabrese, Middle Village

Art Linnemann responds: The Twelve Company was incorporated on January 2, 1903 and the Certificate of Incorporation and By-Laws of#12 were published sometime later.I do not believe that the photo was taken in 1903. Mostlikely it was takearound 1905/6. In yonder years young men joined the volunteerfire departments at an earlyage. My great grandfather, John T. Linnemann, was older than Louie Baisel but one of the original directors of #12. He was born in October 1870 making him about 35/36 when the photo was taken. Hewas not present for the group photo but was in the collage which featured the member's individual shots. The outdoor group shot also features an AT&T sign advertising a public phone was available at the site. If we could ascertain when the phone company placed the signageaboutthe area a more accuratedate mightbe nailed down. My guesstimate isabout 1905/6.

Fire hydrant freed

It is important to ensure that the fire hydrants in our area are free from ice. To this end, my neighbor took the time (30 minutes) to chip away at the ice mound that would have kept a fire truck from using the hydrant. Mrs. Karen Thelian is a 60-year old civic-minded individual who exhibits consistent concern for her neighbors and neighborhood. TheFDNY in Maspeth can be proud that the 72nd Street fire hydrant was free from mounds ofice and access to it was cleared last winter.

Lillian M. Varrassi, Maspeth

Wondering about Walter's

I lived in Maspeth and Middle Village from 1979-1992. I was reading a story on your website about Walter's Delicatessen on Grand Avenue and was wondering if they're still there. They had the best of everything homemade, especially their potato salad. Did they ever publish any recipes?

Peter Armieri, Danbury, CT

Cross Harbor Plan is wrong for western Queens

The Cross Harbor plan is simply unacceptable to our local communities in Western Queens. I recently submitted comments to the Port Authority's Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). One of these plans would include the construction of a rail tunnel between Greenville Yards in New Jersey and Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. This proposal would severely impact our community by moving traffic northward to the Fresh Pond Rail Yard, which is already running at capacity. This plan would reduce truck traffic for the rest of New York City but would shift that burden onto our local communities.

With no plans to protect the surrounding community from the severe impacts, I am very concerned about how the increased train and truck traffic would impact Ridgewood, Maspeth, Glendale and Long Island City. I urge the Port Authority to rethink these alternatives and come up with a real plan that reduces congestion, the production of greenhouse gases, upgrades our infrastructure and ensures that the quality of life for our community is not seriously diminished. Our Western Queens communities deserve better.

Catherine Nolan, Member of the State Assembly

Applauding crossing guards

I really liked David Shapiro's column in the Juniper Berry March/April issue where he interviews Mary Murphy a school crossing guard.

I have always taken crossing guards at schools for granted and it was not until my sister became one that I really saw first hand what a difficult job they have. They literally put themselves between cars, trucks and buses and the pedestrians they help cross. This is not as easy as it sounds when you have drivers who don't want to let pedestrians go first or those that go right through a red light or those that think it's all right to double and triple park to drop off and pick up their children.

They must have eyes in the back of their heads to look for children running across the street against a light or a parent with small children looking at their phone instead of paying attention. They must also keep an eye out for suspicious characters that may be lurking around the school. Each day they talk to the parents, children and the neighbors so they know better than anyone what's going on in the area.

I learned a school crossing guard's day starts at 7am when sometimes it's still dark and they are out there in all kinds of weather from the freezing cold to sweltering heat. I learned that their rain gear doesn't keep them totally dry and they must be in a blue uniform with white hat and gloves. They are not permitted to have hand stop signs and have only a reflective vest and a whistle to be seen and heard. I learned there is a shortage of crossing guards and when one is sick many times there is no one to replace them. They can also be reassigned to cover another school if need be.

I also learned that crossing guards are well liked and appreciated by parents, teachers and the many children they see each day and they will help anyone who wants to cross the street, not just children.

So please give a school crossing guard the respect they deserve for the difficult job they do for our community.

Richard Polgar, Maspeth

Searching for Sonia

Perhaps you can help us. We are longtime subscribers to the Juniper Berry. I came upon the enclosed photo in an album of my parents, I am the young girl on the left. Written on the back of the photo is on the steps in front of St. Adalbert's Church...Dorothy and Sonia (adopted). I think I was about 5 or 6 years old. A guess at the year is 1948 or 49. I wonder and think Sonia's parents were friends of mine ‒ Stella & Stanley Lechtanski of Brooklyn.

Maybe one of your readers might recognize Sonia. We would love to hear from them.

Just an aside, my husband Tom Francis, went to St. Adalbert's school (elementary).

Hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Dorothy & Tom Francis, Hudson, Florida

I.S. trash

Ongoing problem regarding sanitation collections at I.S. 49.I was told that they receive two collections on Monday and Thursday same as our residential. This is totally wrong.

Their last collection is Thursday morning. The staff at I.S.49 put trash out on Thursday night and Friday night. About 100 bags of trash sit on the sidewalk all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a pick up on Monday morning.The garbage should not be outside for three days.This goes on every week.

Robert Amato, Middle Village

Memories of Maspeth's Fabric Store

Thinking back and reminiscing about growing up in Maspeth during the 50's, Grand Avenue often comes to mind with its small town stores and friendly merchants. One of my favorite stores was the fabric shop, which was located across the street from where Connolly's now stands. It was owned by a little woman of Jewish descent who spoke with a heavy accent.

Upon entering the store, there was a distinct aroma from the fabrics and, I guess, the age of the store. It was not unpleasant and, in fact, enhanced my anticipation of my shopping for a pattern and material for my next project of a new blouse or skirt. The lady was always extremely helpful and everything one would look at, she would tell you how "beautiful" it was. I always felt happy and enthused to go there to browse and pick out a new pattern, material threads, trimmings, etc. Or, to buy fabric for a JHS 73 project of an apron for sewing class or a skating skirt for my Saturday trips to the roller rink.

Crazy as it may sound, the fun part was choosing buttons from those many small drawers containing her great selection of all sizes, shapes and colors. Fascinating for seamstresses only, I suppose. After ringing up my carefully chosen pattern, material and accessories, I would leave anxiously anticipating cutting out the pattern and creating my newest article to add to my wardrobe.

This is all just a satisfying memory that emerges to me every so often.

Years later, after I got married and left home – and my mother's sewing machine, I continued to sew – by hand. After seeing the needle holes in my fingers from pushing through layers of fabric, my husband surprised me with a beautiful Singer sewing machine at Christmas, which I still have 55 years later.

Dolores (Gluckler) Cullen, Lakeville, Pa.

June 2015 Juniper Berry Magazine

June 2015 Table of Contents