Community News – December 2000 - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the December 2000 Juniper Berry Magazine

Community News – December 2000

Met Food Deliveries block 80th St. sidewalk

Rats Invading Homes in Middle Village

It seems that many parts of Middle Village are under siege from rats that have gotten more aggressive and now are invading homes. Rats are really bad in the alley between 77th place and 78th Street (near Juniper Valley Road), said Jane Dagostino. She said her husband consistently sees large rat droppings around the trash. Some residents of 77th Place have caught rats in their homes. My friend owns a house at the end of Penelope Avenue and he caught two rats in his house, she said.

Residents in the area also say it is not uncommon to see a rat crossing Penelope Avenue, near P.S. 128. Children often playing may see dead rats from time to time, said Dagostino. It was also reported that several residents living on the southside of Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village have also caught rats in their homes.

The Juniper Park Civic Association has contacted Councilman Tom Ognibene's office who has forwarded residents' complaints to the Department of Health. The civic association is asking that rat poison and other traps be placed in rat breeding areas including sewers, railroad areas and other appropriate locations.

Residents are urged to use garbage containers rather than bags to store trash.

Councilman Perkins (D-Manhattan) has introduced a bill before the NYC Council to make it mandatory for all residents and businesses to use metal cans for trash.

Brazen Burglars Enter MV Home with Weapons

On Monday, December 4, at approximately 11:00 p.m., burglars entered a home on 75th Street (near 58th Avenue) from the rear of the building, adjacent to the railroad tracks. They first attempted to break into the cellar by smashing the basement window with a sledge hammer. Unable to enter, due to a difficulty in shattering a triple glass window, they proceeded to break the lock on a sliding glass door, but were unable to open the door, due to a small piece of wood placed in the sliding door track.

Unsuccessful in entering the home by way of the basement, they climbed up to the first floor and broke the locks in a sliding window, double locked the entrance door from the inside, and ransacked the apartment, even drinking from coke and water bottles in the refrigerator. When the resident of the apartment came home, he was unable to enter the apartment, but could hear footsteps inside. The police were called to a burglary in progress, and they responded in nine minutes. By this time, the burglars had fled, leaving behind in the backyard a sledge hammer, a golf club, and a sharp pointed metal bar.

The residents of the house considered themselves fortunate and grateful that no one was physically hurt during this very serious incident. It leaves us feeling frightened, unsafe, vulnerable, and victimized in our own home, said the homeowner.

Department of Buildings Central Complaint Center

Now you can call one number (212) 227-7000 for all Department of Buildings Complaints including:

• Work Without a Permit

• Illegal Signs

• Illegal Conversions (including basement apartments)

• After Hours Work

• Failure to Maintain Building

• Structural Stability

• Boilers

• Elevators and more

You will not be asked to give your name and you will be given a complaint number to follow up on the progress.

The number will operate from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday.

HELICOPTER COMPLAINT NUMBER

The City of New York has established a telephone line for helicopter complaints 212-312-3964. Call this number to register your noise complaint including location, date, time, duration, and nature of the event, e.g.: circling, hovering, etc. Your complaint will be recorded. If you wish a return call from an Economic Development Corporation (EDC) staff member, leave your name and number.

Traffic Enforcement Crackdown in Our Neighborhood

A Traffic Advisory Board, formed last month, with community leaders, representatives of NYPD Patrol Borough North, the 104th Precinct, and the Department of Transportation, has announced a series of measures to address the rise in traffic related accidents and pedestrians struck.

The neighborhoods within the 104th Precinct, which include Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth and south Elmhurst, have experienced 4,380 accidents in the first 10 months of this year, 722 more than last year. The 20% increase is the highest in Queens County.

Civic organizations have been asking for increased traffic enforcement to address the problem. The Advisory Board was formed after community leaders, Robert Holden and Michael Hetzer, met with Assistant Chief James Tuller at Patrol Borough Headquarters on November 10th. Chief Tuller appointed Inspector Edward Cannon, Executive Officer of Patrol Borough North, to chair the Advisory Board.

As a result, in just two weeks the 104th Precinct has issued twice as many speeding summonses and have increased most other traffic violations. And that's just the beginning, said Inspector Cannon, who promised a sustained and increased effort to strictly enforce traffic laws within the 104th Precinct.

With the help of community leaders, problem locations have been identified for the stepped-up enforcement. Speeding, red light running, stop sign violations, aggressive driving, failing to yield to pedestrians, double parking, illegal turns are among violations that will be strictly enforced. Areas that are prone to traffic accidents will initially receive the most attention.

Additionally, students in Advertising Design and Graphic Arts Department of New York City Technical College have been assigned the task to design posters and graphics to remind pedestrians to cross with care.

On November 29th, the Traffic Advisory Board (T.A.B.), met in the 104th Precinct. The attendees included- Inspector Cannon; Capt. Anthony Renna, 104th Pct. Exec. Officer; Capt. Robert Bonifati, Commanding Officer Queens North Task Force; PO Angela Willis, Commander Queens South Parking Enforcement; Soliman Sharmokh, P.E., Dept. of Transportation; Joe McCall, 104th Pct. Traffic Safety Officer; Roe Daraio, president Citizens Of Maspeth & Elmhurst Together; Robert Holden, president Juniper Park Civic Association and Michael Hetzer, president Citizens for a Better Ridgewood.

Truck Traffic Out of Control

Trucks continue to run recklessly through our community. Civic leaders, residents, parents, and school officials are alarmed at just how many trucks have been added to the streets of Middle Village and Maspeth. Many claim that Metropolitan Avenue, 69th Street and Grand Avenue are now overrun with tractor trailers that not only spew dangerous diesel pollution throughout the community but endanger pedestrians.

Trucks are also blamed for thousands of dollars of damage to both public and private properties. They stray off truck routes onto residential streets creating havoc, said Bob Holden, president the Juniper Park Civic Association and Vice Chairman of Community Board 5. He said the board is now in the process of designing new truck routes in an attempt to better control truck traffic.

Met Food Deliveries block 80th St. sidewalk.

Pedestrians are complaining about a dangerous problem caused by deliveries to Met Food Supermarket on 80th Street and Eliot Avenue. When unloading the entire sidewalk (see photo, arrow) is blocked forcing pedestrians to walk around the truck onto 80th Street.