Middle Village’s Edward Grayson appointed as new sanitation commissioner

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One of Middle Village’s own has taken the helm at the Department of Sanitation.

Last week, Mayor de Blasio appointed Edward Grayson as the Acting¬†Commissioner of DSNY. Grayson, who was raised in Middle Village, was the agency’s director of the Bureau of Cleaning and Collection.

The four-star chief first joined the sanitation department in 1999. He has held a range of positions, including operations chief.

As Director of the Bureau of Cleaning and Collection, Grayson oversaw day-to-day operations, including the collection, recycling and disposal of more than 1,200 tons of waste per day.

Grayson’s father was a lifelong sanitation worker and supervisor. His mother was a recycling outreach coordinator during the rollout of the city’s citywide recycling program in the 1990s.

We wish Grayson the best of luck!

Juniper Valley Park’s 9/11 candlelight vigil is virtual this year

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This year’s 9/11 candlelight vigil at Juniper Valley Park will go virtual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The 911 Candlelight Vigil Committee of Queens, a group of volunteers whose mission is to ensure the memories of those killed on that tragic day are kept alive, announced that they will take the annual event online.

You can watch the ceremony online at 911vigil.org.

The annual vigil usually takes place on the fields of Juniper Valley Park, where hundreds of residents take part in remembering the lives lost on that day.

Last year, the program included a reading of the names of Middle Village residents who passed away on 9/11. This year, the vigil will also include the names of rescue and recovery workers who have died from 9/11-related illnesses.

Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and like the committee, we also hope the vigil can take place in person in 2021.

Vincent Maltese, neighborhood activist, dies at 86

Vincent Maltese, second from the left, at an event at Christ the King in 2013.

Vincent Maltese, second from the left, at an event at Christ the King in 2013.

Vincent Charles Maltese, a neighborhood activist who was a prominent member of the Conservative Party and the brother of former Republican State Senate Serf Maltese, died on Sunday. He was 86 years old.

Born on the Lower East Side in June 1934, Maltese was accepted to Stuyvesant High School, and later completed his high school education at Seward Park High School.

Maltese worked as a self-taught car mechanic, a salesman and a truck driver before working as a sales agent for Prudential Insurance for 14 years.

He then entered a career in law enforcement. At the age of 38, Maltese took the test to become a court officer, and passed with a 99. He was quickly promoted from captain to lieutenant, and eventually to sergeant.

While working, Maltese continued his college education at Adelphi, Hofstra and St. John’s University.

Maltese ran for president of the Queens chapter of Parents & Taxpayers and won. He was elected district leader of the Conservative Party, which he helped co-found in 1962.

The LES native served on the Ridgewood Community Board of Directors, which operated the Peter Cardella Senior Center. He was a member of the Italian Charities of America, serving as vice president for 30 years.

He was also on the board of the Italo-American Federal Credit Union, and a member of First Avenue Boys, the Scafidi Belmonte Mezzagno Benevolent Society, and the Bella Italia Mia.

Maltese was notably a founding member of the Triangle Fire Memorial Association and served as chairman of the board. He lost a grandmother and two aunts to the 1911 fire.

Mass cards and notes of condolences may be sent to his family address at 199-05 33rd Avenue Bayside, NY 11358.

PS/IS 49 hosts Take a Veteran to School Day

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Last week, Spectrum and HISTORY co-hosted Take a Veteran to School Day at PS/IS 49 in Middle Village.

The outreach initiative connected veterans to fourth-grade students to hear their stories of service.

State Senator Joe Addabbo joined the activities for a Q&A session as well. Addabbo is a member of the Senate’s Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee.

“It gives the students a chance to speak directly with a veteran and learn about what it takes to be in the military, the different roles someone can have while serving the country, and to hear some incredible stories,” he said.

Adam Falk, senior vice president of State Government Affairs at Spectrum, said more than 10,000 veterans work at Charter.

“By sharing their remarkable stories of service with students, we ensure tomorrow’s leaders understand and appreciate their devotion to our nation,” Falk said.