2000-05-13 / Letters

RDRC Defends Itself

Dear Editor;

In the Saturday, April 29, 2000 edition of The Wave newspaper, Mr. Howard Schwach decided that his venom could be best directed towards the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation (RDRC). Mr. Schwach in a dizzying and myopically structured attack decided that the RDRC was fair game. Mr. Schwach believes that speculation and conjecture unsupported by facts allow one to be able to espouse an opinion, even if that opinion is tremendously flawed. The impressive aspect of Mr. Schwach’s prose is his ability to pass-off what is clearly fallacious reasoning as some kind of hard and clear logical discourse.

First, anyone not laboring under some cerebral malady can discern this "article" for what it is, a thinly veiled attempt to attack New York State Assembly-Member Pauline Rhodd-Cummings. Based on the "slant" of the article it would appear that Assemblymember Cummings is the only person to receive an award this year from RDRC or to have ever received an award from RDRC for service and contribution to the Rockaway peninsula. No attempt was made to show that other persons have been acknowledged by RDRC for their service. No mention was made of the other honorees at the up-coming dinner dance, for example KeySpan Energy, or the prior years’ honorees.

Second, as to Mr. Schwach’s reference about RDRC finding a place on the Rockaway peninsula to hold its dinner dance instead of Russo’s on the Bay; the response to this statement is simple. Finding a place to hold any major event, such as the RDRC Dinner Dance, within the Rockaways, is somewhat difficult. Over 200 people attended last year’s dinner dance. At present there are no facilities presently existing that can successfully cater to such a large group. However, if the RDRC develops such a site in the Rockaways, one would hope that RDRC would not be attacked for "engaging in a needless outlay of monies."

Third, there was Mr. Schwach’s reference about the accomplishments of RDRC being able to be placed on "…a postal stamp with room left over for War and Peace." Surely Mr. Schwach recognizes that with today’s micro-technology, a computer chip smaller than a "postal stamp" can hold all the information contained in the Library of Congress and all of the world’s leading educational institutions with a great deal of room left over. Clearly if Mr. Schwach had "looked around", as he had encouraged others in his article to do, he would be aware of this fact. Therefore, what Mr. Schwach had hoped to be an insult towards RDRC is clearly a compliment. Thank you, Mr. Schwach!

Fourth, one would hope that Mr. Schwach look around and truly "see" the accomplishments of the RDRC instead in resorting to knee jerk reactionism and fallacious contemplation. RDRC administers and coordinates federal, New York State, New York City and private corporations’ programs and projects, free of charge, to all Rockaway residents.

These governmental and private entities utilize RDRC because they recognize that RDRC is best situated to provide these "services" to all on the Rockaway peninsula. More specifically what Mr. Schwach may again not know is that all of these programs and projects are regularly audited and reports are constantly being submitted to half a dozen oversight agencies. A few of these projects are the United States Department of Justice Weed and Seed Program, the New York State Economic Development Zones Program, New York City’s Department of Business Services’ Commercial Revitalization Program, the Department of Employment’s Youth Employment Program. In addition, RDRC also works in collaboration with KeySpan Energy, Chase Manhattan Bank, Fleet Bank and a few other private institutions. RDRC is also partnered with other "local development corporations" throughout New York City in an effort to bring these organizations’ specific skills and services into the Rockaways. Sadly none of this was cited or referenced to in Mr. Schwach’s attack.

Finally, Mr. Schwach has easily forgotten the numerous calls made to his office and home by RDRC’s executive director to establish a dialogue and to address those "issues" that Mr. Schwach apparently has with the RDRC. All of these calls went unreturned. Mr. Schwach, if information is not sought how can one truly say they really know anything.

CURTIS ARCHER


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