To Juniper Park Civic Assoc:
Our community is very fortunate to have an association as caring as you. A "Thank You" is not enough for your support and ideas in helping us manage to deal with the misery of the development next to our home. How you came to our aid immediately after a phone call is amazingly thoughtful. You restore and generate a new meaning to humanity.
We have a long road ahead but knowing that we can count on the advice and expertise of this association somehow makes it better.
Ron & Mary Ann Todzi
Proud to be a Member
I am proud to be associated with the Juniper Park Civic Association. I am thankful that when I look out of my window and I see the beautiful Juniper Valley Park view and realize that the JPCA is responsible for the many beautiful improvements that have been made. I'm looking forward to getting my next issue of the Juniper Berry.
Thank you Robert Holden and all your staff who have done wonders for your beautiful community.
Texas Says Save St. Saviour's
I just wanted to write and say Good Luck to you and everyone trying to save St. Saviour's Church. It makes me sad and angry that anyone would want to destroy a church, let alone one this historic. I live in Texas and have never even been to New York, though I would love to one day, but I felt like I just needed to write and let you know that there is one more person that agrees with the efforts of those people trying to save a piece of history. Again, good luck!
Bad Dog Situation
Recently I received my Juniper Berry magazine. I recalled how bad the dog situation was at Juniper Park. I recently moved and could not believe the problems were still present. About 6 years ago someone walking two large German Shepherds threw a ball for the dogs. A dog hit my upper leg with a great force. I could not walk properly for several weeks. I'm all for the control of dogs on leashes in the park at all times. I have a dog and she is never off the leash. I'm in full support of Bob Holden and the Juniper Park Civic Association.
Robert J Kraupner
Stand Strong vs. Unleashed Dogs
Dear Mr. Holden,
I agree with you! I am not a resident of Queens and have never been to Juniper Park but I just finished reading your article in The Daily News regarding "unleashed dogs" and I agree with you 100%.
Unleashed dogs have changed my life. Some people just don't realize how scary a dog can be. I care for young children and am afraid to walk them around the neighborhood for fear of dogs that may get out of their homes through a carelessly ajar front door or backyard.
I get very angry when I see dog owners allowing their pets to wander aimlessly around without a leash around them. The owners will say that the dogs are friendly and will not bite but you never know.
Stand strong; there are others fully behind you.
Island Park, NY
Aftermath of Attack by Unleashed Pit Bull in Juniper Park
Dear Mr. Holden,
I read your article in the Daily News and thought it was wonderful. I received a letter from Senator Maltese stating that the police should have done something at the scene (when my dog was attacked by an unleashed Pit Bull) and that he is willing to help in any way. I have yet to hear from Gallagher. I have also sent the owner of the pit bull the bill via certified mail, but have not yet heard a response. The whole situation is very upsetting.
I live across the street from Reiff Park on 59th Drive and yesterday, when we were walking the dogs – behold – an unleashed dog ran out of the park and up to my dogs. Fortunately it was only a beagle and nothing happened. But this deja vu experience caused a panic in me. I am scared to take my dogs anywhere near a park, and I feel this puts my dogs at a disadvantage.
My dogs so looked forward to their long evening walk, but now I no longer take them out of fear, whether it is 6pm or 10pm. If I can help you in any way in your plight for legal leash laws vs. off leash hours please let me know, I will be more than happy to write letters or speak at any meetings.
Again, I would like to sincerely thank you for all the help you have given Max and me. I'm glad the Juniper Park Civic Association has you to voice the truth.
Dogs Can be Unpredictable
To The Editor:
I am a lifelong dog owner and I have taken advantage of the off leash policy for many years now. I am also a member of the Juniper Park Civic Association and I agree with your attempts to enforce the leash laws in New York City parks. My dog and I have been to all the major parks in the city. Yes, I know the joy of watching my dog running and playing with all the other dogs, getting a workout that only another dog can give. Yes, I've felt the camaraderie of being with the dog lovers early in the morning and late at night, talking about our dogs. I've been to Central Park and Prospect Park where literally there are hundreds of dogs and people getting along pretty good most of the time.
On the other side of the issue dog owners must realize that this policy can cause lots of problems. When a fight breaks out in a group of dogs they can get hurt and so can the people who try to break it up. Recently my dog was attacked on the street by a dog that got away from the owner, in two minutes I was looking at a $700 vet bill and my dog almost died. If it happens in a park try proving who is responsible.
People walking in the parks or dogs on leashes feel very threatened when suddenly surrounded by many dogs even if they are friendly and what about the dogs that aren't friendly? Dogs can be unpredictable. How many times have you heard "he never bit anyone before."
Another problem I've seen is when everyone is talking and not watching their dog and the dog defecates and it's dark, how do you find it? You can't and some people have two or three dogs.
Right now only a tiny fraction of dogs go off leash. What if all dogs went off leash? What would the quality of life be for the dogs and for the people in our parks? How many dogs will get lost and how many will be hit by cars? How many people will be suing the city for damages? How many people will just stay out of the parks? What's to stop a group of psychopaths with vicious dogs from taking over a park and how could you stop them? I think even the off leash advocates would agree that some dogs should be on a leash.
Come on Parks Department – keep it simple, keep it safe, enforce the laws.
Low down trick
Dear Mr. Holden:
I would like to forward to you an email I have just sent to Dennis Gallagher. I believe it speaks for itself.
Dear Mr. Gallagher,
I recently received notice about a town hall meeting of the MVMCA. It is my understanding that you are the founder of this organization and that it stems from your conflict from the Juniper Park Civic Association (JPCA). I have followed with interest the recent disagreements you have had with the JPCA and still kept an open mind to your side of the issues (even though I am a current member of the JPCA), but this latest development has turned the tables for me.
To create an organization that is is similar to JPCA, schedule a meeting at the same location two days earlier than the JPCA, create a flyer that looks virtually identical to the JPCA town meeting flyer all seem as an act done to intentionally deceive your constituency. Why would you go to such great lengths and be less than forthcoming regarding the reasons behind your actions?
I recognize all you have done in the past for the neighborhoods that you represent, but this latest action can only be seen as a low down trick. If you are willing to deceive your constituency this way it makes me wonder to what other ways you may resort.
Sometimes you can have a life of proven service and good deeds then in an instant, with one action, all of that is erased. Mr. Gallagher this is one of those of moments. You have lost my vote when you run for re-election.
Hi Robert (Holden),
As you predicted, I did get a call from Dennis Gallagher on Monday after he received my email. He left a message on my machine since I was not yet home from work to get the call. I didn't have a chance to return his call when there was a ring on my bell. Dennis Gallagher appeared at my front door. I was a little taken by surprise just getting home from work shortly before and didn't have the presence of mind to ask him all the questions I wanted to ask him.
He did most of the talking and I can't recall all that he said – he outlined his side of the disagreement with the JPCA, with you and Tony Nunziato. I asked him about cutting funding for the JPCA since they no longer supported him and his response was that he used the money towards a senior citizen center in the neighborhood. He stated he had nothing to do with the formation of the MVMCA by saying "I'm a politician. I don't form civic associations. I support them and listen to their feedback".
He told me as far as me not voting for him again that it wasn't an issue since he does not plan on running for any other public office and that he cannot get reelected since this is second term. After he said that I asked if he had any other aspirations to run for any other public office and he emphatically stated "no." I asked again – "So you are no longer going to be a politician?" he stated "That is correct."
We will see, I heard it straight from his mouth that he no longer intends to seek public office – if he goes back on his word and I see him on the ballot for any office I will take it that he lied to me directly. He'll probably have an answer for that too saying that he didn't intend to at the time, but he was convinced otherwise or some other such nonsense – That's what I would call talking out of both sides of your mouth.
All I know under Mr. Gallagher's watch is that we lost Neiderstein's, C-Town a neighborhood supermarket on Fresh Pond for a Staples, and possibly even St. Saviour's – which he also had an answer. He stated he is working out a deal where he can probably save the church, but most of the surrounding land would go towards housing. He stated that he could not support a rally that went against Maspeth Federal since they are large contributors to the community and he mentioned about the graffiti with his name – why would he attend a rally that made him look bad personally, he stated.
He Lost My Vote
To the Juniper Berry Editor:
Dennis (Gallagher) has lost my vote, as it appears that like most politicians, he reports to the highest bidder and not the people who put his into office, nor does he support the interest of the community.
Although I don't always agree with Tony Nunziato I do know that he is a loyal member of the community and he supports the community with all his might. Bob Holden is another exceptional individual and we need more people like Bob Holden. I have seen Mr. Holden bear the brunt of abuses in his continual fight to keep our community safe and solid. He is the driving force behind the JPCA and I salute him for his dedication and efforts.
As a member of the Juniper Park Civic Association for many years and a board member who helps out occasionally, I have to compliment you on the way you stood up and faced the issue of the Dennis Gallagher disagreement. Your dedication and sincerity came through with flying colors. Your executive board is strong and vocal and based on principles that made America great. Please do not get discouraged and keep fighting for us little people. No wonder Middle Village is a community I can be proud to call home.
Raccoons Invade Middle Village
Dear Mr. Holden:
My neighborhood has become infested with raccoons and it seems nothing can be done about it. Within the past few years their sightings have grown from a few a year to at least a dozen per day. I have called 911 and 311 on numerous occasions seeking help from various agencies including the ASPCA, Animal Care and Control and the NYPD but I have gotten the same response, nothing can be done unless they attack or bite you. They're indigenous animals, and I was also told to trap them on my own and release them in a park, somewhere. They are constantly in my yard, in my driveway and on my block. They won't leave even if you chase them or shoo them away. Every night at around the same time, between 8-9 pm they can be seen wandering around and about on my block.
These animals are not the cute, cuddly, and furry animals they are perceived to be. From experience, I have found them to be very aggressive, mean, and volatile. Two weeks ago on a Sunday night (Oct. 8), my family and I got home from a party at 8:30pm, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. There were no fewer than 10 raccoons in my driveway and in the yard. They just wouldn't leave! In fact, a bigger one got on its hind legs and starting squealing and screeching and making all these noises at me and started moving towards me. Luckily, I had a camera and took these pictures I sent you. I called 911 and was told the police couldn't do anything, I called 311 and a representative from Animal Care and Control told me nothing could be done either. What was once considered a nuisance, the raccoon problem in the vicinity of Dry Harbor Road and 83 rd Street has become a potentially dangerous problem. Something has to be done.
Neighbors and I have seen raccoons at various times including in the morning and afternoon. I was once told by a 911 operator that nothing could be done unless you're attacked or bitten. As a parent of two toddlers who are always out and about either in the yard or at Juniper Park, I cannot afford to wait nor can I fathom the idea of my kids being hurt or attacked by raccoons. It's bad enough you have to worry about unleashed dogs every time you go to the park. Let me make one thing clear, I am not calling for the complete annihilation of the raccoon population, I just want them out of my neighborhood. I am not a scientist nor a biologist, but I believe there is something that can be done to repel them from our area and deter them from coming back. If you have or anyone has any ideas or solutions that may be beneficial please let me know.
You Can't Take Maspeth Out of the Boy
I stumbled across your web-site (junipercivic.com) today and reading the stories of Caldwell Avenue and the Thom Farms brought back many happy memories. I was born and raised in Maspeth for the first 25 years of my life. I am a graduate of Our Lady of Hope and Christ the King (classes of '71 & '75). I remember Mike the barber, Al and Stephanie's candy store and the Thom Flower Farm. I lived on 69th Place just south of Caldwell.
Adelman's was the corner grocery store. Some of you may know me by name others may remember me for the job I had when I was 11 years of age. I was the delivery boy for Wess & Nick Meat Market on 69th Street, a neighborhood institution for many years. I became intimate with the hills and streets of Maspeth & Middle Village from the seat of the red butcher's bike, as well as many of the residents who were customers. The Thom family were very good customers and their new ranch houses on 74th Street seemed like palaces to me at that age. I am sitting here writing this note with a big smile and thinking of the place before the development of the newer roads and homes and when Juniper Park used to flood regularly. Those areas seemed like the country then. As I will turn 50 in January, I can't believe where the years have gone. I can say for certain that "you can take the boy out of Maspeth, but you can't take Maspeth out of the boy." Maspeth will always be home.
Have great Holiday season & a very Happy New Year to all!
Boys of Summer
Congratulations to our Midville Dodgers on their great victory (2006 National Champions, High School Division, 17 and under). Shades of Pee Wee, Jackie, Campy, Furillo, Duke, and Hodges.
Our Brooklyn Heritage
Though trolleys are gone from Western Queens
We cling to the Borough of Churches it seems.
A few brownstones stay.
Our boys of summer play
In Juniper's fields of dreams.
John A. Roberts