Thursday, June 28, 2007

Is Maltese Going Senile?

This can be the only explanation for him honoring Tony Avella at the recent Juniper Park Civic Association meeting. Maybe Serf is following the Mayor and will be changing party affiliations soon so that he can win his seat by a wider margin than 1.5% against an unknown politician. Or maybe the Senator supports renaming a street after a convicted felon and know racist. Perhaps Serf feels that using contaminated fill to build a ball field for children is proper construction practices.

I wonder how Mr. Maltese would feel if State Senator Frank Padavan, Senator Toby Stavisky or Mr. Baldeo was honored by a civic association in his own district. Being a fellow Korean War Vet and a strong supporter of Maltese, I am left scratching my head and have a bad taste of sour berries in my mouth. I hope Senator Maltese wakes up soon because he may be sent to a much needed retirement.

Pol Position has given us a lot of fodder this week. See article below

Dateline : Thursday, June 28, 2007

So Nice, Let’s Honor Him Twice?

Speaking of awards, we did a double spit-take when we heard that not only was Avella honored by the JPCA, but he was also given a State Proclamation on the same night by a representative of State Senator Serphin “USA” Maltese’s office.

Now we know that party affiliations in New York run along nebulous lines (just ask our mayor), but a Republican state senator from Southwestern Queens giving a Democratic councilman from Northeast Queens an award? We’ve heard it all now, down is up, black is white...Pol Position is sober.

Again, not that Avella isn’t deserving, but hasn’t the councilman in the past continuously hinted that he would challenge Maltese’s fellow Republican in Albany, State Senator Frank Padavan, for his seat, even going so far as to call him “scared” on the record?

Although, maybe any bad blood between the pair has been erased now that Avella is on his quest for the city’s top job. In fact, maybe the proclamation began...

WHEREAS, Councilman Tony Avella has not longer decided to run for State Senate, instead setting his sights on a Quixotic run for New York City mayor...

Courtesy of the: Queens Ledger

The JPCA “Man of The Year” Curse

In the Queens Ledger this week, Pol Position makes an interesting comparison between the Madden Curse and JPCA Man of The Year Curse. The Patriots are neither superstitious nor do we believe in curses but when it comes to Robert Holden and his civic association they have a way of making the unbelievable, believable.

Please read the article and weigh in with you comments.

Dateline: Thursday, June 28, 2007

Honor or Curse?

Juniper Park Civic Association’s Man of the Year’s almost as faithful as the dreaded Madden Curse. Pardon? Oh, you don’t spend your Sunday afternoons and evenings and most Thursdays and the occasional Saturday afternoon and night watching the NFL, and the rest of your week diligently crafting your Fantasy Football starting lineup, and therefore are unaware of the Madden Curse?

The Madden Curse regularly brings not only doom and bad luck to its victim, but a horrible season to any player chosen to grace the cover of Madden’s wildly popular football video game, with the most recent victim being Seattle Seahawks’ running back Shaun Alexander, who after a stellar season was chosen as the Madden poster boy, and then suffered the following season through a string of nagging injuries.
We know, you are probably thinking that one person a curse does not make, but the evidence goes all the way back to Garrison Hearst, whose mug appeared on the first Madden cover after the best season of his career in 1998. After he was stocked on shelves across the country during the off-season, he returned in 1999, only to break his ankle in the very first game of the year.

Other victims include: Dorsey Levins, Daunte Culpepper, Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, and Donovan McNabb ,to name a few.

We know that our loyal Pol Position readers are probably wondering where all of this is going. But you might not realize that a similar curse, albeit on a much smaller scale, takes place where the world of New York City politics and civic activism intersect, and that’s the cover of the Juniper Berry, which each year features on its cover the Juniper Park Civic Association’s Man of the Year.
It generally doesn’t take too long before the Man of the Year finds himself on the wrong side of the civic association, which is really a very minor predicament relative to, say, a season-ending injury, but an interesting phenomenon nonetheless.
Take for instance the case of Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, who was once on the good side of the JPCA, only to be vilified repeatedly in print over that no-leash rule. And there is the case of former DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall, who was name 2005 Woman of the Year (just to show that the curse is gender-neutral), but it wasn’t enough to keep her around, and she eventually quit.

Then there was the 2005 Man of the Year, Councilman Dennis Gallagher, a decision that the organization called a “no-brainer.” As we suspected, not a whole lot of thought went into that selection, as it turns out that the civic doesn’t really like Gallagher all that much. In fact, the phrase “blinding white hate” might be a good way to describe their feelings about the pol today.

To be fair, it hasn’t always gone sour between the civic and their honorees...Mayor Bloomberg has been named Man of the Year twice, so the curse doesn’t really carry the same weight of Madden’s, although we’ll have to wait and see how this whole congestion pricing thing plays out.

And we are hard-pressed to think of a situation that would derail the relationship of the civic with this year’s winner, Councilman Tony Avella. No we can’t really imagine perennial goo-goo Avella falling afoul of the Junipers, unless Avella began pushing legislation banning Man of the Year awards because they present some sort of conflict of interest.


Famous Queens Residents Series, Part IX

Chamique Shaunta Holdsclaw (born August 9, 1977 in Astoria, New York) is a former professional basketball player in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). She announced her retirement from the Los Angeles Sparks on June 11, 2007.

High school years:
Holdsclaw grew up playing basketball. While attending Christ The King Regional High School in Queens, New York, she played for the school's women's basketball team, and led them to four straight New York State Championships in basketball.

College years:
Holdsclaw went to the University of Tennessee in 1995, where she played under coach Pat Summitt and helped to lead the Lady Vols to the women's NCAA's first ever three consecutive Women's Basketball Championships in 1996, 1997 and 1998. The 1998 championship was Tennessee's first ever undefeated season at 39-0 and also set a NCAA record for the most wins ever in a season. She also helped lead Tennessee to 2 SEC regular season titles in 1998 and 1999 and to 3 SEC tournament championships in 1996, 1998 and 1999.

At Tennessee, Holdsclaw was a 4 time Kodak All-America, one of only six women's to earn the honor (along with teammate Tamika Catchings, Cheryl Miller of USC, Ann Myers of UCLA, Lynette Woodard of Kansas and LaToya Thomas of Mississippi State.) Holdsclaw finished her career with 3,025 points and 1,295 rebounds making her the all-time leading scoring and rebounder at Tennessee in men's or women's history, the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in SEC women's history, and the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in the NCAA tournament women's history with 470 points and 197 rebounds. She was also only the fifth women's basketball player in NCAA history to have 3,000 points (a list including Jackie Stiles of Southwest Missouri State, Patricia Hoskins of Mississippi Valley State, Lorri Bauman of Drake, Cheryl Miller of USC, and Cindy Blodgett of Maine) She is also one of five women's collegiate basketball players to ever accumulate over 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 300 assists and 300 steals (a list that includes teammate Tamika Catchings, Cheryl Miller of USC, Sophia Young of Baylor, and Armintie Price of Mississippi.) In 1999, Holdsclaw received the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States. Holdsclaw also won the Naismith throphy for player of the year twice, in 1998 and 1999 and posted a 134-17 win/loss record during her remarkable career as a Lady Vol. In 2000 she was named Naismith's Player of the Century for the 1990's and was also part of an ESPY award given to the Lady Vols as Co-Team of the Decade for the 1990s.

In 2006, Holdsclaw was named to a women's collegiate basketball silver anniversary team for being picked as one of the 25 greatest players of the past 25 years. She was also picked as one of the 5 greatest players in the SEC of the past 25 years.

WNBA career:
In the 1999 WNBA Draft, Holdsclaw was selected by the Washington Mystics 1st overall. In her first season, she was named the Rookie of the Year and was a starter in the inaugural WNBA All-Star Game. She averaged 16.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in her first season. The next year, Holdsclaw was named to the Olympic team, helping to lead them to a gold medal.

During her subsequent seasons in the WNBA, Holdsclaw continued to improve her numbers. In 2002, despite missing several games with an ankle injury, Holdsclaw averaged a double-double per game with 19.9 points and 11.5 rebounds. By 2003, she was averaging 20.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. On July 24, 2004, however, she failed to show up for a game against Charlotte, played one more game in reserve and then didn't play the rest of the season including the entire playoffs. At first, Holdsclaw refused to discuss the reason for her absence, other than to rule out cancer, pregnancy and drug addiction, but following the season, she told The Washington Post that she was suffering from clinical depression and that she had been ashamed to discuss it with the public.

On March 21, 2005, Holdsclaw was traded to the L.A. Sparks in exchange for DeLisha Milton-Jones. In May 2006, Holdsclaw took a sudden two-week leave from playing for the Sparks, but later clarified that this was due to the serious illnesses of her father and stepfather. As of late June, she was averaging 14.4 points per game and 7 rebounds per game.

On June 11, 2007, only a few weeks into the 2007 WNBA season, she surprisingly announced she was retiring and did not immediately provide any explanation as to her sudden departure.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Monday, June 25, 2007

Education and Apple Pie Score High with the MVMCA...

Congratulations to the Middle Village Maspeth Civic Association for their great meeting on June 14th. During the meeting the MVMCA honored four local outstanding leaders in Education. The Honorees were Principal Sister Jean Redigan of Our Lady of Hope, Principal Sister Bridget Olwell of St. Margaret’s, Principal Anthony Lombardi of P.S. 49, and Principal John Lavelle of P.S. 128. Principals give so much to the students and the communities they serve and it is wonderful to know that there are groups out there who take the time to honor their efforts.

In honor of Flag Day, the MVMCA had President Pat Toro of the Vietnam Veteran’s of American do a special presentation regarding the history, proper display and proper disposal of our American Flag. As a Korean War veteran, I was extremely pleased that there are still patriots out there who honor, respect and revere Old Glory.
The Middle Village Maspeth Civic Association was also kind and generous enough to serve the hundreds in attendance hot dogs and apple pie to add to the American pride theme. I look forward to attending future meetings and wish the organization lots of luck and success in all their efforts in trying to improve and assist the communities of Middle Village and Maspeth. God bless you and God Bless America.

Please read the article from the Queens Ledger- “An Evening of Honor and Respect"

CB5 Makeover..

Dateline : Thursday, June 21, 2007
Board 5 Elects New Faces To Lead
By Phil Guie

The executive committee of Community Board 5 got a little more diverse last week, befitting the city agency that represents Maspeth, Middle Village, Glendale and Ridgewood.

Community Boards are considered the arm of the city government in which members are appointed by the Borough President and the City Council representative to make sure city services are on track with the wants of the residents who live there. CommunityBoards have a 'say' through recommendations on zoning issues, transportation,traffic, housing, sanitation, public safety and City Parks. Each of these services has a Community Board committee. Community Boards typically issue priorities on capital projects and funding for city services. Each of the 14 community boards in Queens has 50 members, of which nine are elected by that board to serve as its leaders - to shape the committees and the direction of its focus.

In elections that took place at the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council at 62-04 Myrtle Ave. on Wednesday, June 13th, board members elected Kathy Masi of Glendale their new Treasurer, and Peter Comber of Ridgewood to Executive Committee as a new Member-At-Large. Meanwhile, Walter Sanchez of Maspeth was elected the new 1st Vice-Chairman. Masi, who also serves as president of the Glendale Civic Association, said she is ready for action. "I have been an activist all my life," said Masi. "I think the community board is a great way for civic leaders to bring their case to the city for services. The executive committee is going to get a bit of a jolt with me in there."

Along with her goal of securing more representation for Glendale, Masi said she also ran because the committee, with the exception of Peggy O'Kane, is composed entirely of men.

Comber claimed his nomination - and subsequent victory - were a complete surprise, and said he would need the first part of his term just to consider how best to assist his community.Amidst a crowded field of candidates for Executive Committee Member-At-Large posts, he prevailed on a tie-breaking ballot. But as the newest Ridgewood appointee to the current executive board, Comber promised to address his neighborhood's traffic problems, including poor signage on Putnam Ave., Decatur St., and Traffic Ave, and trucks that occasionally ride the sidewalks.

Echoing the sentiments of his fellow appointees, he swore to be responsive to local problems, and to listen to the people's needs above all. Sanchez, who replaces Robert Holden, said his goal would be making newer board members feel more "included" in decision-making and committee assignments. "Part of our job as a leader of any organization is to give a chance to others to take over so they can use their own skills for the good of the goals of that organization," Sanchez said. "In my twenty years as a member of CB#5, I think there are more leaders on the 50-person board now than ever before. They were feeling excluded, and I think their votes showed that [tonight]."

With regards to the Board's ousting of Holden, Sanchez - who is publisher of the Glendale Register and seven other newspapers in Queens and Brooklyn - credited board members becoming disenchanted with Holden's personal attacks against him, Councilman Gallagher and others who might dare have differed on how to plan for the future of the neighborhood. A series of personal attacks have been regularly published in his civic newsletter and through blogusations on anonymous blogs allegedly operated by Holden's allies.

For Holden, however, the evening was doubly disappointing; after failing to be re-elected 1st Vice-Chairman, he also failed to claim any of four vacant Executive Committee Member-At-Large posts - getting the lowest number of votes of the six candidates.

Councilman Dennis Gallagher, who was on-hand, agreed that Holden's politicizing his own group, the Juniper Park Civic, may have made many CB5 members uncomfortable. "Deep down, people are not comfortable when - in order to boost themselves, a person needs to put down others with personal attacks," he said. "Members of the executive committee and some very important members of the Community Board said loud and clear that they reject these tactics."

Gallagher also pointed out that someone Holden had been outwardly attacking for over two years was elected in his place. "This vote was a clear sign that the Community Board wants civility, not divisiveness," Gallagher said.

Others re-elected were Vincent Arcuri, from Glendale as Chairman, Michael Hetzer, from Ridgewood as 2nd Vice Chair, Peggy O'Kane as Secretary and members at large members remaining are Ted Renz, Fred Haller and Manuel Caruana

Friday, June 22, 2007

Way to go Mr. Sutich!

Let’s give a big Patriot’s applause to Mr. Peter Sutich from Whitestone!

Please see below the great letter he wrote to the Forest Hills Ledger. We couldn't have stated it better ourselves.

Councilman Avella's actions politically motivated


Whenever I hear a politician call someone's actions "politically motivated," I have to chuckle, especially when the quintessential politician, Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside), says it.

In his recent response to Vincent Tabone (May 31, TimesLedger Newspapers) regarding school funding, Avella made the bizarre accusation of dismissing Tabone's criticism as being "politically motivated." Is he kidding? I think we would have to look far and wide to find a more political politician than Avella.
Has he ever done anything that was not political in his entire career? Maybe there was time that he led a witch hunt against a local businessman who purchased the dilapidated Beechurst Yacht Club in hopes of making it into a restaurant. When Avella accused the owner of attempting to make a topless club out of it, was that a politically motivated attack? I hope so, because no elected official in this city could be that ignorant of zoning laws that he would think that a club could exist right next to homes.

When he cast a vote against higher property taxes, knowing with absolute certainty that his fellow Democrats would vote overwhelming for it, would that be considered politically motivated? Or would it be considered political when he urged the parishioners of a church not to give donations to force the pastor to break a legal cell tower contract?

Maybe not. Maybe Avella did all these things out of his convictions and love for his community. Maybe he respects the wishes and beliefs of his constituents.

So how does he explain the recent Sonny Carson vote? Avella owns the dubious precedent of voting for a New York City street to be named after one of the biggest racists in modern times. Carson's proud statement of being "anti-white" was the mark of his distinction, along with his threats against Asian store owners in Harlem and his statement of pride in the brutal mob killing on an innocent Jewish scholar.

What could have possibly been Avella's motivation to vote for this disgraceful bill? He states that it was a vote for the legislative process and the right for African Americans to vote for their heroes. At what cost? If a group of white Council members decided that the grand wizard of the KKK should be so honored, should we allow it? No, of course not.

Don't look too far for the real reason behind Avella's vote. If his constituency was polled today, a huge majority would most assuredly vote against a public street being named after Sonny Carson. Avella doesn't care any more, though. His term limits are about up. He has bigger fish to fry. He no longer needs to please this constituency. He needs to please the entire city of New York, so his strategy is to attempt to please whatever constituency he can to get him the Democratic nomination for the next mayoral election.

As usual, his actions are purely politically motivated.

Peter Sutich


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bloomberg’s Political Partisanship Disorder

Is Mayor Mike a Democrat in Republican clothing? Or was he always an Independent who has emerged from the political closet? If I were a betting man, I would bet the farm the Bloomie is nothing more than a political opportunist and expert strategist. Mayor Mike can dance around the question all he wants but his actions clearly provide the answer that he is preparing to throw his fedora into the presidential race.

Mayor Bloomberg has been traveling around the country, most recently spending three days in California, the state with the most electoral votes, sending his message to voters of the importance of “bi-partisanship” and admonishing his colleagues for “pandering” to partisanship and pushing the country deeper into trouble. I’m not sure that traveling the country and making political speeches is listed under the job duties for mayor.

Hey Mike, stop the smoke screen and be upfront with the people who elected you mayor. We deserve that much as you leave the city behind and look toward your political future.

NY Post Article

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel..

It shouldn't shock anyone that the Juniper Berry and its crazed ego maniacal chief; Robert Holden, has hand picked Councilman Tony Avella as their "Man of the Year". It is important to note that Tony Avella does not represent our community, has never funded a project in Middle Village or Maspeth, never spearheaded a positive change for our community, and was absent when our communities fought to turn the Keyspan site into a park. So you might be wondering what is Tony’s qualification and why is he deserving of the JPCA’s “Man of The Year”? It is every simple, Avella is the only elected official left that Bob Holden can speak with. You see, Holden is at war with all of our legislative and community leaders including Community Board 5 of which he is a member.

Although Bob is a master of grandstanding, public attacks, over stepping his authority and sphere of influence, Tony "Old Yeller" Avella gives Holden a run for his misappropriated money. If you haven't yet observed Tony yelling and turning beat red when he doesn't get his way, you are missing something to marvel and behold.

Sadly, the JPCA chooses to ignore that Mr. Avella voted to have a street renamed for convicted felon and racist Sonny Carson (Yes the same Sonny Carson who openly admitted his hatred for white people) despite overwhelming opposition from his own constituency. Tony justifies his vote and wants you to believe that he did so because the community wanted it done. But we know that Tony could care less about what the community wants and his only focus is his political future. Damn everyone or everything else. Tony is willing to support a domestic terrorist and hatemonger like Sonny Carson to curry favor with African-American voters in his laughable bid for mayor. This vote was political pandering at its very best. Way to go Tony X! I'm sure Councilman Barron sleeps better at night knowing Tony Avella has his back.

The Patriots are extremely glad that Tony will not have to endure this long hot summer without the comforts of a refreshing watering hole. Recently, Mr. Avella was found to have an illegal pool in his backyard but he whined, cried and yelled so loudly that the Department of Buildings turned a blind eye and dismissed the violation. I wonder how many other Queens residents enjoyed the same luxury when they received violations for their pools. If Tony really cared about the community, he would invite over every Queens resident who had to tear down their pool to a 4th of July pool party in Whitestone.

Mr. Avella spends more time in other communities and less time in his own district that local residents are modeling a new coloring book after the "Where's Waldo?" series and renaming it "Where's Avella?" If there were a small crowd, a camera, and a few reporters I would suspect that Tony would travel to Hunters Hollow, Kentucky for his 13 and half minutes of shame. Just imagine if we could keep Tony in his own district, we wouldn't need congestion pricing.

The most unforgivable action in his tenure as a leader in Queens was when Avella allowed a baseball field to be built with contaminated fill.

Highlighted in The Queens Courier the Headline reads:


This article clearly proved that Tony Avella as President of the College Point Sports Association oversaw the dumping of contaminated fill on an athletic field designed for children to play upon. City lawyers stated, “CPSA, one of whose officers was PAID to monitor dumping of fill, was negligent in its oversight.” The material being used was considered hazardous when used as a substrate for baseball. Is this a Man of The Year or is Holden honoring his lone political ally?

Tony was that you? As President, the buck stopped with you. Despite Avella's transgressions and many faults the Juniper Berry has decided to honor him in their recent publication. It is obvious, the Juniper Berry is turning over every rock to look for honorees these days because they have alienated just about everyone in the community. There is a bright side, however, because any time the Juniper Berry honors someone it is just a matter of time before they attack, malign and ridicule. Just take a look at our "Hero to Zero" series and you'll quickly see what we mean.

Bloomie Paying Lootie to Perform your Duty..

The Mayor wants to pay the poorest New Yorkers to reward students for educational performance and parents or family members a financial incentive to do what is right. This stinks of socialism, distribution of wealth and the alienation of the middle class. Once again it looks like the hard working middle class has been omitted from this motivation program to do well. I believe kids from all economic backgrounds would enjoy being compensated for doing something that is already expected of them. Why stop there, let's start paying people for cleaning their sidewalks, showering regularly, eating right, driving the speed limit, refraining from using obscene language, and a host of other desirable behaviors. We can all quit our jobs, start acting responsibly and wait for the cash to roll in.

Here are some of the ways you can get some of this cold hard cash:

$600 - to high school students and their parents for accumulating 11 high school credits a year.

$400 – for students and their parents if the student graduates from high school

$400 – for adults who take certain education-and job training courses that last between 71 and 140 hours

$200 – per family member for having regular medical check-ups

$150 – a month for adults working at a full-time job

$50 - to high school students getting a library card

$25 – for attending parent-teacher conferences

You can not buy a work ethic and you can not purchase dedication to do what is right. It is a mindset that is learned, fostered and reinforced. I am all for helping those less fortunate, however, if you give a man a fish he will eat for a day and if you teach him to fish he can eat for a life time. Let's teach our children that doing well in school, working hard and dedicated themselves to reaching their goals is much more valuable in the long run that receiving a few bucks.

-NY Daily News Article-

Famous Queens Residents Series, Part VIII

They called Ford "The Chairman of the Board" for good reason. He was for more than a decade the star pitcher of a team that operated with corporate efficiency, and his intelligence and confidence were on display whenever he was on the mound. In contrast to pitchers who dominated hitters with overpowering physical abilities, the 5'10" 180-lb lefthander controlled games with his mastery of the mental aspects of pitching and pinpoint control. Batters had to deal with his assortment of pitches: He mixed splendid changeups, marvelous curves, and a good fastball. He had one of the league's best pickoff moves, and he was an excellent fielder. And, like most successful businessmen, he was at his best when the pressure was greatest.

His most eye-catching statistics are his consistently low ERAs and high winning percentages. In 11 of 16 seasons he was under a 3.00 ERA, and his worst was 3.24. His .690 winning percentage ranks first among modern pitchers with 200 or more wins. Of course, he benefited from strong Yankee bat support, defense, and relief pitching, but his winning percentage was usually higher than the team's. He allowed an average of only 10.94 base runners per nine innings and posted 45 career shutouts, including eight 1-0 victories.

After joining the Yankees in mid-season 1950, he won nine straight before a home run by Philadelphia's Sam Chapman gave him his only loss. In the World Series, he pitched 8-2/3 innings without allowing an earned run to win the fourth game of the Yankee sweep. He spent 1951 and 1952 in the service, but returned to post 18-6 and 16-8 marks in 1953 and 1954.
His 18-7 record in 1955 tied him for most AL wins. He led in complete games (18) and was second in ERA (2.63). The Sporting News named him to its annual ML all-star team. In the final month of the season, he pitched consecutive one-hitters. The following year he was even better, going 19-6, to lead the team. He won his second ERA crown in 1958 (2.01).

Through 1960, Yankee manager Casey Stengel limited Ford's starts, often resting him at least four days between appearances, and saving him for more frequent use against better teams. In 1961 new manager Ralph Houk put him in a regular four-man rotation, and Ford led the AL in starts (39) and innings pitched (283) and earned the Cy Young Award with a 25-4 record, leading the ML in wins and percentage. Two years later, he again led in wins, percentage, starts, and innings pitched, with a 24-7 mark. At the time there was only a single Cy Young award for both leagues. Sandy Koufax won for 1963, but Ford was voted the top AL pitcher by The Sporting News. They opposed each other in both the first and fourth games of the 1963 WS, with Koufax winning both times. In Game Four Ford lost a two-hitter on an unearned run. In 1964, Whitey Ford was named the Yankees. pitcher/coach, and after battling arm problems, he retired from playing in 1967. He remained the only Yankee pitcher in history to have his number retired by the organization, until Ron Guidry's was retired in 2003. In 1974, Ford was given baseball's greatest honor by being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Whitey Ford can currently be found on the spring training diamond coaching some of today's Yankee pitching prospects.

The Yankees won 11 pennants in Ford's years with them. He ranks first all-time in WS wins (10), games and games started (22), innings pitched, hits bases on balls, and strikeouts. In the 1960, '61 and '62 Series, he pitched 33 and 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, breaking Babe Ruth's WS record of 29 and 2/3.

A fun-loving native New Yorker, Whitey formed a curious odd couple with Oklahoman Mickey Mantle. The two were a familiar duo in the Big Apple. They were inducted into the Hall of Fame together in 1974.

Courtesy of

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Barely “Holden” On By A String

The grapevine was buzzing late last night regarding an interesting development that occurred during Community Board 5’s monthly meeting. Last night, the community board held their elections for positions on the executive board. Up for re-election for Vice Chair, was our good friend and favorite megalomaniac Robert Holden. He was the lone nomination prior to last night until someone nominated another board member, Walter Sanchez from the floor. Votes were cast by the board members in attendance and from what I have heard; Mr. Sanchez won the election 27 to 13. Can you say coup d’ etat?

I also learned that Bob Holden was nominated for a member at large position, a vote was taken and Holden lost again. It seems that he has been relegated to a general board member and stripped of his powers as an executive board member. Let’s debate and speculate why this happened:

Robert Holden has:

• Alienated mostly every elected official in Queens (and when he gets bored he attacks elected officials in other boroughs).

• Turned a blind eye on community hotspots and eyesores in exchange for donations and advertising money.

• Not adhered to his civic bylaws.

• Used the Juniper Berry as a political propaganda machine to assist him in his quest for elected office (which may violate IRS laws pertaining to 501c3 organizations).

• Developed a creative accounting scheme that would make Al Capone’s accountant proud

• Thrown people out of his civic association meeting if they disagree with Holden Caesar (remember the story of the PTA Mom who had her microphone unplugged and her membership fee thrown at her?)

• Engaged in more lawsuits than Perry Mason.

• Refused local children the opportunity to play on the Juniper baseball fields when not being used by teams with valid permits.

Made dogs cry.

• Refused to attend community events that the JPCA cannot take credit for arranging.

• Prevented the Vietnam Moving Wall to be viewed in Juniper Park.

• Refused to allow Department Of Building inspectors into his home while urging community residents to turn in their neighbors.

• Divided our community.

The winners of last night's vote were not the hundreds of opponents of Mr. Holden.
They were civility and community cohesiveness.

Democracy is factious by nature because many different groups work hard to have their own agendas realized, their own views heard above the masses and their desired quest to gain power to achieve their goals. A group (or person) cannot survive if their only strategy is to ridicule, malign and attack others for their opposing views. I believe last night sends a clear message that democracy works and the community at large is tired of the constant turmoil and community strife that has been created by certain individuals.

It seems that community leaders, elected officials, local businesses, advertisers, and residents are seeing the light and pulling their support for Bob Holden. The balloons of community support, community board power and advertising dollars that were keeping him a loft are now floating away.

The party is over, the cows are coming home and the dietician is getting ready to sing.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Great Concert in Juniper Park

On Sunday, June 10th I enjoyed a wonderful “Red, White and Blue” concert performed by the Queens Symphony Orchestra in Juniper Park. The hundreds of people in attendance were treated to classical music composed by Irving Berlin, George Gershwin John Phillip Sousa and George M Cohan. The brilliant patriotic song selection raised the nationalistic spirit and boosted American pride of everyone in attendance.

There was also a very special tribute to those in the audience who had served in the Armed Forces. Maestro Constantine Kitsopoulus asked that when the veterans heard the anthem for their particular branch of service they should stand up and be recognized. Veterans serving during World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, representing all the branches of services stood at attention, saluted and beamed with pride as the crowd applauded their service to our nation. It was an unbelievable moment of honor, respect, dignity and patriotism.

Special thanks to the Queens Symphony Orchestra, NYC Parks Department, the Middle Village Chamber of Commerce, the Middle Village Maspeth Civic Association and Councilman Dennis Gallagher for organizing this delightful patriotic musical event. In the future, I hope to attend more of these types of events that bring the community together to promote American patriotism and pride.

God Bless America

Queens Vietnam War Memorial

On Saturday, June 9th I attended a kick off ceremony hosted by the Friends of the Vietnam War Memorial as a representative from my American Legion Post. I was very happy to learn that the NYC Parks Department has agreed to have a Queens Vietnam War Memorial erected in the new park designated for the old Keyspan gas tank site. The event was attended by many elected officials, community leaders, veterans and local residents. Those in attendance were informed that the organizers of the event wanted to get the word out to the public because they need our support to help make this important project a reality.

This is a long overdue tribute to the brave men and women from Queens who gave their lives serving our great nation during the Vietnam War. It is extremely important that we have these types of memorials built to remind us that many patriots paid the ultimate price so that we may enjoy our freedoms as Americans.

I hope that everyone supports the Queens Vietnam War Memorial. Please remember that when you honor one group of veterans, you honor all veterans.

The Juniper Park Patriots supports this memorial and all causes that honor our veterans.

God Bless America

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bobby, Bobby Oh So Slimy, How Does Your Grass Grow

Over the beautiful Memorial Day weekend I spent time with family and friends enjoying the beautiful weather. I even had the wonderful opportunity to spend the entire weekend with my three grandchildren and took them to visit Juniper Park. Each day they played in the playground and loved running on the synthetic grass with nothing on their feet but socks. I was dismayed, however, that each afternoon we visited the park I noticed that the ball fields could not be used because the sprinkler system was activated to water the grass. The sprinklers were on at approximately 2:00pm on Saturday, and 3:00pm on Sunday and Monday. It seemed odd that in the middle of the day, when kids all over the park were looking for someplace to play, they were prevented to play ball because of the sprinklers. As a matter of fact, it seems that sprinklers are on during any afternoon that certain organizations are not using the fields.

When I was small boy, I used to visit my grandparents in the Catskills. I distinctly remember that my grandfather would only water his grass during the early morning hours. I’m not a horticulturist so I did some research to see when is the best time to water your grass and find out if my grandfather was crazy or if the community is being duped. Here is what I found out:

“The best time for lawn irrigation is in the early morning hours to avoid prolonging the dew period which can encourage disease problems.”

“Early morning is the best time to water. Avoid watering during the mid-day as much of the water will evaporate before it can soak into the soil. There is also less wind during the early morning, which will give you a more evenly distributed spray. Most importantly, early morning watering gives the grass all day to dry. Wet grass overnight can cause, molds, fungus and disease.”

Courtesy of Green Lawn

“The best time of day to water is during the early morning hours – around 3:00 - when the water pressure is highest. In addition, water will have a chance to soak down into the ground before evaporating, thus providing the most benefit for the lawn. And any water left on the lawn will be evaporated away in a timely manner when daylight arrives. Mid-afternoon watering is probably the worst time to water, as far as efficient water use is concerned. Too much will evaporate away before it has a chance to soak down. You’ll be using a lot of water, but won’t be doing your lawn all that much good. Even though it may be very tempting to turn on the sprinkler during one of those scorching days, hold off on it. Evening watering will permit the water to soak down just fine, but water will remain on the lawn way too long, which can invite fungus and diseases.”

Courtesy of Water Wisely: The Best Time to Water Your Lawn.

I think you get the picture. Maybe the sprinkler system is turned on in the middle of the afternoon to prevent people from playing on the fields. I think parks should reconsider the maintenance contract they are entering in with Bob Holden. However, if they decide to go forward we hope that they heed the expert's advice and water the grass in the early morning hours.

Sopranos, the final scene....

Anybody who says "nothing happened on the Sopranos" is completely missing out on the ending! This is NOT a life goes on ending! And anyone who thinks so should go back and watch it again.

Watch the last scene of The Blue Comet (the 2nd to last episode) first. As Tony sits on the edge of the bed he contemplates his demise.

Then, there's the flashback to Tony and Bobby in the boat discussing being whacked, "You probably never hear it coming." Remember when Tony was speaking with Bobby...basically saying that you don't see or hear death? It just happens and you would never feel it.....aka fading to black.....

Fast forward to Tony in "Made In America" final scene.

So, the point would have been that life continues and we may never know the end of the Sopranos. But if you pay attention to the history, you will find that all the answers lie in the characters in the restaurant.

The trucker was the brother of the guy who was robbed by Christopher in Season 2. Remember the DVD players? The trucker had to identify the body.

As Tony walks in the door of Holstein's he looks into the diner and sees nobody from his family. He is the first to arrive. The there is a very odd cut. The camera cuts back to Tony's face looking into the diner and then cuts back to the diner where, if by magic, Tony is now sitting.

This odd cut is provided to show us that "cut to Tony's face means the audience = Tony's perspective."

Fast Forward to AJ arriving. The are two black youths weren't these guys the ones who tried to kill Tony and only clipped him in the ear, circa season 2 or 3?

And the "Members only" guy at the bar. This guy is credited as Nicky Leotardo. The same actor played him in the first part of season 6 during a brief sit down concerning the future of Vito. That wasn't that long ago. Apparently, he is the nephew of Phil. Phil's brother Nicky Senior was killed in 1976 in a car accident.

Tony takes a look at both. After the "members only" guy walks to the restroom we see a close-up of Tony anticipating Meadow to walk through the door - again - Tony's perspective. Absolutely
incredible!!!! There were three people in the restaurant who had reason to kill Tony and then it just ends. This was Chase's way of proving that he will not escape his past. It will not go on forever despite that he would like it to ......"DON'T STOP" --- BELIEVING....

Suddenly CUT to black, music stops, black screen for several seconds. Tony (and the audience) got WHACKED - and he didn't hear it coming. It is crystal clear and not open to interpretation. WE GOT WHACKED! Chase is showing Tony's perspective.

Tony's finished...and Chase is truly rewarding the true fans who pay
attention to detail.

Friday, June 8, 2007

JPCA Creative Accounting? Or Misappropriation of Government and Private Funding?

It is amazing what a senior citizen armed with a computer and a lot of extra time on his hands can find out. I have located some interesting tax information regarding the Juniper Park Civic Association and their finances. Unfortunately, I am not an accountant but from doing my tax returns myself for over 30 years I noticed a few items that were of particular concern. To be sure I am correct with my assertion that something is afoot, I have turned over the returns to a good friend of mine who works for a certain government agency as a forensic accountant. I am eagerly awaiting his findings and will share them with our readers.

But here are few things to notice:

In 2005, the JPCA spent $31,735.00 on “Community Baseball League Programs including Little League Team” (990, part III, section b)

In 2004, the JPCA spent $50,181.00 on “Community Baseball League Programs” (990EZ, page 2, Item 29a)

In 2003, the JPCA spent $36,758.00 on “Community Baseball League Programs” (990EZ, page 2, Item 29a)

I’m sure the baseball league is the Midville Dodgers, so Robert Holden is giving Bob Holden money. Very interesting indeed and a possible conflict of interest. I wonder what explanation can be given for the almost $20K spike in spending in 2004.

Then we have the expenditures for the Juniper Berry

In 2005, the JPCA spent $43,603.00 on “Advancement and improvement of Community for Residents of Maspeth and Middle Village, Programs include community meetings and quarterly publication, “the Juniper Berry” (990, page 2, section a)

In 2004, the JPCA spent $13,740.00 on “Advancement and improvement of Community for Residents of Maspeth and Middle Village, Programs include community meetings and publication (990EZ, page 2, section 28a)

In 2003, the JPCA spent $11,003.00 on “Advancement and improvement of Community for Residents of Maspeth and Middle Village, Programs include community meetings and publication (990EZ, page 2, section 28a)

One again Robert Holden is paying Bob Holden to publish the Juniper Berry. “Advancement and improvement of Community for Residents of Maspeth and Middle Village”? It should be labeled “Advancement for Bob Holden and his courtiers and the improvement of the political status of Mr. Holden and Tony Nunziato of Maspeth and Middle Village.” It also seems that printing propaganda is getting expensive. I guess the price of ink and paper has skyrocketed because there was almost a $30,000.00 cost increase to publish the berry between 2004 and 2005. In addition, conspicuously absent from the returns are the dollar amounts the Berry receives from local merchant advertising. Do you smell crap?

There were other serious problems with the returns but my friend started to lose me with all the technical accounting jargon so I will wait for his “official” findings to go into further detail. I promise you that there will me more information coming soon. You can click on the images to see the enlarged version of the pages.

Special thanks to “Mr. T” for the tip, (he pities the JPCA fools).

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


For a brief moment Holden was right but now his inaction and greed is failing and dividing our community.
My doctor constantly nags me to get more exercise so each night I take a long stroll through our beloved community. During my evening walks I have the opportunity to observe the many great features Middle Village and Maspeth have to offer. My dog and I see it all, young and old couples walking hand in hand in Juniper Park, families walking their dogs and kids playing soccer, basketball and sometimes even baseball (of course when the upper fields are not locked). The peaceful tranquility of our neighborhoods is something we should all relish.

After walking around the park I often pass 7-11 on my way home. I remember when Bob Holden led the protest against 7 – 11 where many of the community’s opposition was voiced. I recall having conversations with community leaders, church officials and residents who opposed the store and their concerns that a 24 hour store right in the middle of a quite residential community will attract unruly loiterers and destroy the tranquility of our community and create quality of life problems.

For awhile, people protested and no one patronized the store to shop, and 7–11 was treated as an unwanted interloper. Holden was right to protest the placement of the store in our peaceful community! The community concerns were warranted because recent data furnished by the NYPD reveals an upsurge in vandalism in the immediate vicinity of 7– 11. The local police precinct has been responding to reports that homes and motor vehicles are being damaged by groups of kids loitering around the store. I have observed this type of activity as I drove by a few times during the late evening hours.

This type of activity would surely compel the Juniper Park Civic Association to vehemently protest against 7-11. After all the JPCA protests everything right? To my chagrin there have been no protests, no mention of the problems in the Berry and no JPCA action! Why you may ask? It is very simple and it is a matter of finances. It seems that the owners of 7–11 have become generous contributors to the Juniper Park Conservancy that helps fund Bob Holden’s Midville Dodgers. The very same Dodgers featured in another post where the finances of the organization were called into question.

It is very sad and disconcerting that a Civic President has put our community up for sale! His fiat is “Donate to my Dodgers and you can ravage our community.” This is precisely why no protest has occurred at the Walgreen’s site. Did Walgreen’s also pay a tribute to avoid a JPCA protest? Did Bob turn his back in exchange for monetary gain on community favorite, Artis Drugs? I believe these questions answer themselves.

I challenge the press to take a closer look into the finances of the Juniper Park Civic Association, The Midville Dodgers, and the Juniper Park Conservancy. After all it is our tax dollars that are being pumped into these groups and all should be subject to public review. You never know what you might find when you turn over a rock under the berry tree.

Famous Queens Resident Series, Part VII

Fran Drescher
Early life and career:
Drescher was born in Flushing, Queens, New York City to a Jewish family of Eastern European origin.[1] She grew up in Queens with her parents Sylvia and Morty Drescher and was a studious girl who was quite popular in school. Drescher attended Hillcrest High School in Jamaica, Queens.[2] At 15 she met the man she believed she would spend much of her life with, Peter Marc Jacobson, and in 1978, at age 21, they were married.
Her first break was a bit part in the movie Saturday Night Fever (1976).
In January 1985, robbers ransacked Drescher's Los Angeles apartment and raped her and a friend at gunpoint. It took her many years to overcome this ordeal, and it took her even longer to admit this to the press. She was paraphrased as saying in an interview with Larry King that although it was a very negative experience, she found ways to turn her experience into something positive. In her book Cancer Schmancer, she is quoted to have said, "My whole life has been about changing negatives into positives." She saw her rapist sent to prison.

The Nanny and film roles:
She continued to play small but memorable roles in movies, until she finally created her own show, The Nanny. She was visiting her friend, model Twiggy, in England and came up with the plotline. The show aired on CBS from 1993 to 1999, becoming an instant success, and so did Fran. In this sitcom, she played a charming and bubbly woman named Fran Fine who casually became the pantyhose-clad nanny of three children; with her wit and her charm, she endeared herself to their widower father Maxwell Sheffield, a stuffy, composed, proper British gentleman and a Broadway producer (played by British actor Charles Shaughnessy).

Two of the many sides of Fran:
Her voice is a combination of a high nasal pitch and a New York accent that people find either annoying, endearing, or humorous (or all three). In her autobiography, Drescher discusses the fact that this is her real voice — even though it is played up a little on-camera — and the many voice lessons she has had to take to overcome it for movie auditions (only to have it, and her machine-gun titter, end up being her trademark). Her first book was even titled Enter Whining.
In the late 1990s, she was a defendant in a lawsuit, and later dismissed from it. Acerbic comic Dennis Miller remarked that "no one wanted to have to listen to her testify!"[citation needed]

Fran has also appeared in a number of films, including This Is Spinal Tap (1984), UHF (1989) starring "Weird Al" Yankovic, Jack (1996), directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Beautician and the Beast (1997) (which she also executive produced) and Picking Up the Pieces (2000) co-starring Woody Allen. In 2007 Fran announced she would voice the character of Pearl in the animated movie SharkBait. After separating in 1996, Fran divorced her husband, Peter Jacobson, in 1999. She then dated a man sixteen years her junior from 1998–2002. Her beloved dog, Chester, who made many appearances in her movies and on The Nanny, died in 2000 at age eighteen. She now has a chocolate Pomeranian named Esther and lives in New York.

Personal Life:
Drescher is a huge fan of the rock band Phish, and has been spotted at several of their concerts.Drescher was admitted to Los Angeles's Cedars Sinai Hospital on June 21, 2000, after doctors diagnosed her with uterine cancer. But emergency surgery caught it early as it was only at Stage 1 and she didn't have to undergo radiation or chemotherapy. She has been given a clean bill of health and no post-operative treatment has been ordered. She wrote about her experiences in her second book, Cancer Schmancer.On June 21, 2007, the day which marks the summer solstice and her 7th anniversary of wellness, Drescher will announce the national launch of the Cancer Schmancer Movement, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all women's cancers be diagnosed while in STAGE 1, when it's most curable. Fran's vision is to galvanize women into one collective voice to alert our elected officials that our vote means more than that of the most powerful corporate lobbyist. Her goal is to live in a time when women's mortality rates drop as their healthcare improves and early cancer detection increases. More information can be found on her site at

Return to television:
In recent years, Drescher has made a return to television both with leading and guest roles. In 2005, she returned to TV with the sitcom Living with Fran, in which she played Fran Reeves, a middle-aged mother of two, living with Riley Martin (Ryan McPartlin, Passions), a guy half her age and barely older than her son. Former Nanny costar Charles Shaughnessy appears as her philandering ex-husband, Ted. Living with Fran was cancelled May 17, 2006, after two seasons.
In 2003, Drescher appeared in episodes of the short lived sitcom, Good Morning, Miami as Roberta Diaz. She also made a cameo appearance in Family Guy as a Mogwai which Peter fed and transformed into her, unfortunately her head was shoved in a microwave and exploded.
In 2006, Drescher guest starred in an episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent; the episode, "The War at Home", aired on US television on November 14[3]. In 2007, Drescher will be appearing as a cast member of the US version of the Australian improvisational comedy series Thank God You're Here.

Courtesy of WIKIPEDIA

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Let’s Care Less About the Heiress

There are soldiers dying overseas protecting our freedoms, homegrown terrorists are threatening our lives, Russia wants to aim nuclear weapons at US targets in Europe, on-going debates between presidential hopefuls are being conducted, crime is down in New York City, and guess what the papers deem as front page news? Dopey Paris Hilton goes to jail!

Once again, the newspapers have proven that they are less concerned with serious news and more concerned with bubble gum pop culture to sell their rags. Paris Hilton is a moron and social misfit who has done more for venereal disease than penicillin. We are constantly bombarded with stories regarding the exploits of the rich and stupid rather than be given the facts pertaining to serious issues impacting our everyday lives. The rising price of oil takes backstage to what Ms. Hilton paid for her miniature pooch and the assorted canine accessories. We live in a world where Lindsay Lohan crashing her car becomes much more important than the United States’
crashing export figures. Ask the average American to name the Secretary of the State and most will say Ryan Seacrest. I am often embarrassed that our country has been taken over by frivolous air-headed morons whose only serious and contemplative thought is provoked by what bling to wear on the red carpet. We need to get back to what is important and educate our children about what really matters in society. Keep Paris and her merry band of idiots in jail and off the front pages of the newspapers.

FBI Reports that NYC is the Safest Big City in U.S. (but for how long?)

The FBI reported that overall crime in New York City was down by 5.3 percent, making New York City the safest city with populations of more than 1 million residents. The report went on to state that there were 2,517 crimes committed per 100,000 residents, which is an incredible number considering the city’s fast paced environment. Even more impressive is that the FBI predicts that this downward trend will continue despite the NYPD’s recruitment problems and the loss of veterans to attrition.

It seems that the NYPD will fall short of its recruitment goal of the 2000 new police officers for the upcoming academy class. It is becoming abundantly clear that the abysmal starting salary of $25,100.00 is having a devastating impact on the police force. To keep New York City safe we must pay a fair and equitable salary to the brave men and women who keep our streets safe. If the city continues to offer a salary that is not commensurate with the job these police officers perform each day, New York City will no longer be the safest city in the country and once again we will be afraid to walk the streets.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Elections are better than term limits

At times, the New York City Council can be an exasperating legislative body to observe, as it works carefully around the peripheral of the problems facing the city and sometimes fails to get to the heart of the fiscal and political reforms needed in the city. Therefore, this entices NYC voters to listen to the champions of term limits (or those sharks circling term limited incumbents) when they say city council members don't deserve more time in office. Their criticism is more selfish and self-serving than getting to the root of the problem because term limits are ineffective and does more harm than good. Enacting term limits is an effort to prevent career politicians or conscientious public servants from controlling government but also allows lobbyist and special interests to enjoy greater control.

From the onset of their election to office, prudent council members are looking ahead and working hard to win higher office after term limits has forced them out. This does mean however, that their performance in the city council is diminished because many do an outstanding job representing their communities. Let’s say if you or I were hired by a company and informed that our employment would end in eight years, wouldn’t we be preparing for our next employment opportunity. This would most certainly involve networking, making business connections and doing an exceptional job at your current position in order to secure a glowing recommendation. It is no different in the City Council and term limits does not allow the voters to reward an elected official for a job well done. Term limits forces elected officials to turn to lobbyists, special interests and those entities that might ensure them a better chance at higher office.

General elections are term limits. If an elected official fails to meet the demands and expectations of their constituencies they are promptly voted out. Conversely, if a politician continues to work hard for the communities he or she represents they should be rewarded by being re-elected by voters. Term limits causes a wild frenzy where elected officials scramble to climb up the political ladder in hopes of reaching higher office. This fight for higher office will detract from the job at hand and will hurt voters and reward lobbyists.

Term limits should be repealed and more power placed in the hands of voters.

The Catskills Terror Farm

Nestled in the tranquil Catskills Mountains is a compound home to radical Muslim Fundamentalists using the remote area to hide their murderous agenda. For months, there have been numerous reports by local residents of gunfire, military style training and suspicious activity within the commune walls. Federal and local law enforcement officials suspect that the group’s members may be preparing for a violent homegrown jihad and are poised to attack strategic locations on American soil. The Feds have been monitoring the activity closely and have reported that some members of the commune have been sent overseas to Afghanistan and Pakistan for terrorist training camps funded by Al Qaeda.

It is apparent that we need to start deporting these dangerous individuals to protect American citizens. It is time that we stop protecting the civil liberties of extremists and start protecting the liberties and lives of American citizens. Wake up America, the war is not only being fought in far away lands overseas; it is being also being waged in our backyards. Forget amnesty for illegal immigrants because it may be time for mass deportations or internment camps for enemies of our nation.