June 2020 Juniper Berry Magazine - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.
June Juniper Berry Magazine

June 2020 Juniper Berry

The Juniper Berry magazine has a rich tradition in the communities of Middle Village, Maspeth and Elmhurst. It was first published in 1938. The quarterly magazine is an all-volunteer effort and contains articles on crime prevention, neighborhood issues, meeting reports and notices, neighborhood history and photographs, guest articles, editorials and more.

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Yesterday & Today: 61st Street at Flushing Avenue, looking northeast 1950

In 1950s, trolleys were still traveling the roads of Maspeth and Middle Village. This cherry red model ran along the LIC-Ridgewood route and is shown on northbound 61st Street at its stop at Flushing Avenue.

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Blue Angels/Thunderbirds flyover

The United States Navy's Blue Angels and Unites States Air Force's Thunderbirds participated in "Operation America Strong" over New York City on April 28th.

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Berry Bits: Christ the King High School and Middle Village Prep reach settlement agreement

The Diocese of Brooklyn and Christ the King High School announced a resolution to their dispute that ensures the rights of all are honored, valued, and respected.

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Berry Bits: Brennan Field Reconstruction Underway

After several years in the works, construction on the Brennan Field at Juniper Valley Park started in March.

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Berry Bits: Rest in Peace, Joseph Magnus

Born in Rostoky, Slovakia, Joseph Magnus emigrated to the US in 1952 with his mother, Anna. They joined his father, Michael, and settled in Greenpoint Brooklyn.

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Berry Bits: Cooper Avenue shelter fills up due to COVID

There are still outstanding issues with the certificate of occupancy for 78-16 Cooper Avenue, but that didn't stop the City from housing 120 shelter residents there.

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Berry Bits: L Train repairs complete

The L train tunnel under the East River sustained major damage during Hurricane Sandy and required extensive repairs.

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Berry Bits: Bag ban delayed

On March 1st, 2020, New York State's law banning single-use plastic carryout bags took effect. In New York City, businesses are required to collect a 5-cent fee on paper carryout bags from customers, with some exceptions.

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Berry Bits: Woodhaven House permanently closed

We are sad to see the restaurant close and we fear it will be the first of many in the area to be destroyed by the COVID shutdown.

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Berry Bits: Cuomo cancels Queens Borough President special election

Mayor de Blasio postponed the Queens Borough President special election on March 15 during the height of the COVID crisis. It was originally rescheduled for June 23rd.

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Berry Bits: Smashburger & Chipotle coming to Maspeth

Renderings for a proposed shopping mall on the Maurice Ave Home Depot property in Maspeth reveal that two tenants have already signed on ‒ Chipotle and Smashburger.

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Berry Bits: Garlinge Triangle sign replaced

A few years ago, the sign marking Garlinge Park on Grand Ave. was stolen. After many calls and letters to the Parks Dept we almost were going to give up.

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Berry Bits: CSX property cleaned

The CSX property on 57 Ave where it goes under the LIE has been a haven for youths and the homeless for many years. The trash just kept building up over the years and attempts to have CSX do a cleanup proved fruitless.

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Berry Bits: LIE beautification project completed

When the sound barriers were installed along the LIE in Maspeth, the location adjacent to the Midway Nursing Home was not included in the project.

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Message from the President, June 2020

Greetings to all. When I last wrote to you, we were looking forward to spring and thinking about special elections, meetings and parades.

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Things That Are Dumb: Seniors were sitting ducks

Anyone who has worked in a nursing home can tell you the health requirements of all employees: You must present evidence of immunity from measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox, you must show you are not infected with tuberculosis or hepatitis and you must either get a yearly flu shot or walk around wearing a mask during flu season.

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Things That Are Dumb: State scrambled to open hospital facilities it hardly used

New York State set up COVID facilities at several locations to expand hospital capacity. It also requested the 1000 bed capacity USNS Comfort from the Navy.

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Things That Are Dumb: Unemployment system crashes

The crush of unemployment claims due to COVID-related layoffs and terminations led the Department of Labor's system to crash. This caused many applicants to remain in limbo for weeks

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Things That Are Dumb: Mayor appoints his wife to lead task force on NYC recovery

Chirlaine McCray, dubbed the "First Lady of NYC", who blew ~$1B on the ThriveNYC mental health program, was named the chair of a task force aimed at advising the City on a COVID economic recovery plan.

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Things That Are Dumb: Released Rikers inmates back behind bars

Despite the city being mostly shut down and transit ridership plummeting 95%, there has been an undeniable increase in crime, the likes of which hasn't been seen in decades.

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Things That Are Dumb: It's not all bad news

One of the silver linings to the COVID crisis is that the government will now likely be too broke to move ahead with most of their planned boondoggle projects.

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Letters to the Editor 6-2020

Ironically, the safest place to walk is a cemetery. A cemetery is a garden, a sanctuary, a place to seek solace and renewal in nature's bliss. Walk with me and celebrate life!

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Amazing Stories 6-2020

His wife and two friends who were in the house at the time fought for an hour yesterday to prevent Ignatz Kaivulgans, a young Polander, who lives on Washington street, Maspeth, from committing suicide when he was seized with an attack of acute mania. 

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Shadows of A Shoeshine Box

I was only thirteen years old when separated from my family. My mother was hospitalized for several months, I don't know why. Never told.

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Maspeth's two long lost railroad stations

Many people are aware that the Lower Montauk and Bushwick branches of the LIRR run through Maspeth but very few people were alive back when Maspeth had an actual passenger station.

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Trolley to Oblivion

It was near midnight, the ornate kiosk at the Manhattan approach to the Queensboro Bridge beckoned. I descended cracked cement steps which led to the dimly lit trolley terminal. Inscribed in chalk on a dirty gray wall of the terminal was a tiny bird with the caption "BIRD LIVES," an homage to the late jazz great, Charlie Parker.

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Community Spotlight: Jennifer Marino-Bonventre

Jennifer Marino-Bonventre is a 7th grade English teacher at PS/IS119. She's a true inspiration to her students, family and friends. In these trying times she found a way to lift the spirits of her own children, neighbors and even strangers.

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Community Spotlight: Megan O'Connor

We'd like to introduce you to another talented artist in our community. Megan O'Connor is the youngest of 3 girls. She will be in the 8th grade in September and hopes to attend Art and Design for High School.

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How we fed the frontlines

After seeing a nurse on Twitter receive a parking ticket after her shift, I really just wanted to be able to pay it for her knowing what she was probably dealing with during her shift. Although I wasn't able to get in contact, we felt this was a great alternative way to give back.

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Thank you to those who helped

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." ― Fred Rogers

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The 2020 Victory Garden

With uncertainty over what will be available in supermarkets due to disruptions in the food supply chain, many are taking to growing their own fruits, herbs and vegetables at home on windowsills and in backyards.

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Inside NYC's oldest pickle factory

Have you ever ordered a club sandwich at Good Eats, Fame Diner or Glendale Diner? If you have, then that side spear served with your entree was likely made nearby in Maspeth.

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104th Precinct Report 6-2020

These last few months have been unprecedented for all of us. Our community, city and nation continue to navigate through these trying times, which we will overcome.

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LIRR's Public Deception and Disregard For The Public

In NY State law, the LIRR is called "a public benefit corporation." That is a noble concept but too bad the employees of the LIRR can't abide by state law. For decades, they have operated this public asset in ways that benefit the employees first. The riding public and the rest of the taxpayers come last.

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Scott LoBaido's Artistic Thank You

For the last 25 years "America's Artist" Scott LoBaido has respectfully painted thousands of renditions of Old Glory on schools, homes, fire houses, police stations, cars, and canvases.

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Mazeau, a tiny little street

As a six-year old boy there are a whole lot of rules that you must live by. I was pretty much a good little kid. Well, that's what I would like to think. I did what I was told. But there was a limit. There was this one thing that I just couldn't obey, let alone control the urge to pursue, and that was travel.

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The Fall Webworm is a relentless eater

It's likely that over the summer you'll notice the presence of web-like structures in trees in your yard, in our parks and lining our streets. Those mini-tents are the work of a creature known as the Fall Webworm.

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New Arnheim, Maspeth's forgotten re-settlement

In 1638 Governor Kieft purchased the land near Newtown Creek, and the new Charter of Freedoms and Exemptions, published two years thereafter, providing that "all good inhabitants were allowed to select lands and form colonies" attracted settlers to this neighborhood.

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In recognition of the Neufelds

During the past two months of the Coronavirus pandemic, Elmhurst and its surrounding communities have received widespread media attention, after being labeled the 'epicenter of the epicenter.'

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Chef Ricco Presents: The Great American Barbecue!

To all my friends, family and loved ones in New York as well as from sea to shining sea and across the fruited plains...(Alaska and Hawaii too!) I want to send my love, thoughts and prayers to everyone dealing with the corona virus and all things affiliated.

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"Waste Not, Want Not"

Do you believe it's wrong that there's enough food in the world that no one needs to be going hungry, but a lot of it is wasted? As the Founder and President of Catering for the Homeless, Inc., I'm working day and night to do something about that, and it's making a difference.

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World Class Art Near the Deli

At the corner of 61st Street and Maspeth Avenue, a Polish deli buzzes with activity, not far from the one up the street or the other one down the street. Three Catholic churches serve Mass within a five-minute walk from each other.

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The Lesson

Momma worked in a shop hand sewing men's neckwear. She was given a bundle of pre-cut fabric from which each piece was removed and placed on a table. A gauze lining was put in place and on top of that a flat piece of cardboard shaped like a tie.

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Pandemic Poetry

Fear overcame panicking residents. There was a run on medical supplies, hand sanitizers, alcohol prep pads, Lysol wipes, antibacterial cleaners, bleach, N95 face masks, surgical masks, any masks.

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Dr. Ydelfonso Decoo: COVID frontline doctor memorialized

A huge painting, entitled "Somos La Luz," is now on display in the parking lot near Queens Museum and Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

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Cats, Cat-Owners and COVID-19

I am a clinical veterinarian, not a researcher nor a pure scientist. My primary concern is for my patients and their owners, and my purpose in writing this article is to help you to best care for your cats during this crisis.

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Berry Book Review: Pretty Things by Janelle Brown

It starts simply enough, with a woman waiting for her chance to sidle up to a Russian rich kid at a club, slip something in his drink, and take him home in his fancy sports car. But she doesn't steal anything—not yet at least.

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Apply online for Medicare

Did you know that you can apply online for Medicare, even if you are not ready to retire? We can help you make an informed decision about when to apply for benefits based on your individual and family circumstances.

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An introduction to virtual reality

A few months ago, on my final day in the office before self-isolating, I received a large box in the mail. The side of the box held a tiny picture of a Companion Cube.

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Killy's Korner 6-2020

Sure hoping you all are doing okay during this time of pandemic quarantine. We are so fortunate here in Middle Village to have our very beautiful Juniper Valley Park to escape to for a brief walk. And we were able to see the amazing Blue Angels flyover from the ball field. Awesome!

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In memory of my father, Joseph Magnus

Joe Magnus was born on October 27, 1931 in a town called Roztoky in what was then Czechoslovakia. He grew up in the middle of World War 2 and I've heard him tell many stories about the things he saw in his early years that probably contributed to the tough exterior he carried his whole life.

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Neighborhood Hall of Shame 6-2020

During these crazy times, it is doubtful that the essential staff of the dialysis center on Fresh Pond Road or their patients want to look at this vandalism on the walls of their clinic. Members of the community shouldn't be burdened by the eyesore, either.

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Patron Saint of Pandemics

Aloysius Gonzaga was born in 1568 and suffered from serious kidney disease at an early age. He came from nobility and his father thought he was destined for military greatness, but instead he heeded the call to become a Jesuit priest.

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