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

Originally published in the September 2007 Juniper Berry Magazine

Letters to the Editor

Flooding in Middle Village

Dear Editor,

I live on 78 street between Eliot and 62nd ave. As you may know a couple weeks ago when it rained pretty hard many basements flooded in the neighborhood driveway shared by 77pl and 78st. For many people it was the first time their houses have flooded. They have lived on the block twenty+ years and this has never happened.

Unfortunately this has been an ongoing problem for my house and about thirteen other families (20+ years), being we live close to the sewer drain that serves the entire block.

Then again last week, when the tornado hit Brooklyn we all flooded again. After studying the sewer system plans of the neighborhood, you can see why this happens as the homes north of the parks sewer lines do not have a direct passage to the main pipe off of Lutheran Ave. I would like to know if you knew about this happening to other blocks in the neighborhood, if people are getting together to help fix this problem or maybe I could start something if enough people are concerned as many of my neighbors are already. Whether the system just needs to be cleaned or in some way needs to be expanded. Many people had raw sewage back up into there houses. For many, including myself, this wouldn't be the first time. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Beth Huderski

Middle Village

Maspeth Targeted for Demolition

Dear Editor,

Thanks for allowing me to attend the rally on Saturday. It is absolutely sickening what is happening to our neighborhood and worse yet is that our elected officials are working against America. The issue of the trees is a perfect item for Green Peace, the National Arbor Day Foundation and the State Ethics Commission (regarding collusion with the developers).

It seems that the American Indian said it best when he said White Man Speak with Forked Tongue! This fits the Bloomberg Administration as they keep pushing the Green Building Initiative, yet they stab us in the back when it suits their purpose. Based on what I have recently heard, seen, read and experienced I have come to the conclusion that our leaders are for the most part corrupt to a degree which has not been seen since the period prior to WWII Europe and we the American People are being played for fools. There is no doubt that Maspeth has been and is being targeted for demolition. We represent what little there is that remains of America and as such we are a threat to those who would destroy us. They are striking at us from within by destroying our heritage, our parents' legacy and our national identity. The destruction of St. Saviour's is but a part in this insidious policy.

Thanks Again.

Daniel Trembinski

Maspeth

Tragic Loss of Trees

Dear Editor,

I live diagonally across from St. Saviour's and have watched the systematic annihilation of one of nature's most beautiful gifts. The destruction of the trees can never be reversed.

It is deplorable that this was allowed to happen just so someone can fatten their wallets with more unaffordable luxury housing units. It is so disheartening to see that Bloomberg didn't deem this to be a worthy enough issue to fit into his agenda. The remaining trees have all been destroyed as of today. I watched in absolute disbelief as the wrecking crews began ravaging the remaining landscape early this morning – it was difficult to stomach. To see and hear the crews sliding chopped down trees into a wood chipper was sickening. Looking at the property from our window now is like looking at a ground zero site, or an area hit by an F5 tornado. I can't help but think that if Maspeth were considered an upper class neighborhood, it wouldn't have gone this far. As the old adage goes, Money talks, BS walks. Looks like the developer was able to line the necessary pockets very well to accomplish his goal.

It's a damn shame.

Sincerely,

Cathy K.

West Maspeth

Dear Editor,

The ongoing destruction of the old growth forest at the former Saint Saviour's Episcopal Church in Maspeth, Queens demonstrates the continuing lack of concern by certain elected officials in New York City over the importance of this historic site and complex.

Designed by Richard Upjohn and constructed in 1847, Saint Saviour's served in a religious capacity until 2005, when it was sold to a development group (Maspeth Development, LLC). The desecration of this site, including the purposeful neglect and damage done to the Parish House last winter as well as the current clear-cutting of the site this week, is an example of the undercutting of New York City's historic neighborhoods and sites by its own elected government.

By refusing to landmark the church and site, citing that the building had been damaged in a fire in the 1970s and was recently reclad in vinyl siding, the Landmarks Preservation Commission under Mayor Bloomberg has endangered one of the most important complexes of religious buildings in New York City. Jablonski-Berkowitz, a firm which specializes in assessing historic buildings concluded that most of its historic fabric, including decorative wood shingles and other Gothic Revival details, was intact underneath the vinyl siding, easily removed in a day or two. Any Upjohn building within the boundaries of New York City should have been given the utmost consideration by the LPC, which it clearly was not.

By refusing to purchase the church and site for a park and community center, Mayor Bloomberg has denied this community, which is one of the least served by public parkland in New York City, a chance to both preserve its heritage and adaptively re-use a sacred site. Here is a natural place for a park, in a part of New York City that is woefully underserved. It is a two-acre, naturally occurring park. The administration has sat on its hands and done nothing as this special place is being destroyed, despite massive community protests. Additionally, there has been absolutely no public process to determine the future of this special place.

By working solely with the owner/developer – and not with the surrounding community – Councilman Dennis Gallagher has shown that he has been deaf to the cries of the community and the people of Maspeth. Were it to be executed, the compromise that has been brokered with the owner/developer will destroy the integrity of the site and profoundly negatively impact the environment of Maspeth. And, his approval, tacit or not, of the destruction of these old-growth trees is abominable.

Paul Graziano,

President

Historic Districts Council

Support from Kissena Park

Dear Editor,

I can't tell you how sorry I am that I am working this weekend, be it at a pre-revolutionary war museum in Roslyn, thus I am unable to attend the rally which is of prime importance to our American heritage.

The efforts of people like Tommy Huang to erase our heritage must be met with the full strength of all civics , and I am proud to say that the Kissena Park Civic Association is fully behind you and will support you in any way that we can.

Please keep me informed of your progress. Thank you and God Bless you for your efforts....

Beverly McDermott

President

Kissena Park Civic Assoc

Berry Good Memories

Dear Editor,

I grew up on Flushing Avenue between 60th Place and 60th Street. I have lived in Indiana for 23 years now, serving presently as a Lutheran Pastor in Indianapolis. I grew up at Trinity-St. Andrew's Lutheran Church on 60 Ave. under the leadership of Pastor Austin Bosch, and attended P.S. 153. I also attended Martin Luther High School on Maspeth Avenue graduating in 1970.

At 55 years old I greatly appreciate receiving the wonderful Juniper Berry Magazine from Mr. Donald Steinmaker who is a member of Trinity-St. Andrew's in Maspeth. He always passes the Berry on to my mom and then she mails it to me.

Your magazine is well written and I always enjoy the photographs comparing locations from years ago till now.

At one time I heard that P.S. 153 would possibly be named in honor of a long time teacher, Mrs. Mabel Miranda who many Maspeth children were instructed by. Are you able to check into that for Maspeth residents who greatly admired Mrs. Miranda? She is now deceased. Thank you.

Also, I am wondering if you might have an older picture of the old P.S. 72 which is now Martin Luther High School? The comparison of the old and present would be interesting.

Thank you to Mr. Steinmaker and to all of the staff at the (Juniper) Berry. It helps me stay connected with my childhood!

Sincerely,

The Reverend Daniel M. Strobel

Indianapolis, Indiana

Hello,

I love all the information you are displaying about Maspeth. I grew up on 69th Street, not far from Jay Ave. The era I grew up in was late 40's and all of the 50's till mid 60's. Great times!! I was very curious about an old building on the corner of Jay Ave. and 69th St. Till this day I don't know what it had housed. It was an old dilapidated wooden structure. Any information would be appreciated. Keep up the good work. It brings back a lot of fond memories.

Thank you Mammadoo25@aol.com