2001-08-18 / Letters

Our New Savior?

Our New Savior?

Dear Editor;

I just found out that you have published the letter that I sent you last week in regards to the "Miller controversy" in this week’s issue of The Wave. You also have a very nice coverage of the affair on the first page.

Here is the second episode of the story. Last weekend, after sending you the letter, I had a meeting with a neighbor. We decided to call a community meeting for August 9, last night. We wrote and printed a flyer, distributed it and kept making telephone calls trying to rally support for our cause which was then: no rental in the School Yard, no entrance/exit on Beach 92 Street and Holland Avenue. Next thing, there was a meeting called by a candidate for the 32nd NYC Council District who is running a Democratic primary and who is close to "Mr. Miller." The candidate in question, Mr. Lew Simon, arranged a meeting with Mr. Miller for yesterday afternoon. I was not invited to this meeting. The residents of this community were represented by three people who have been living here for a much longer time than me.

Last night, to my surprise, Mr. Simon was leading the meeting, which he called a rally at some point. Mr. Miller had not budged; no concessions, including the entrance/exit that he has planned for Holland Avenue. I am sure that The Wave can find out about his position – just call Mr. Simon. As per me, I felt frankly ashamed to be somewhat associated with this affair. I left 30 minutes after the meeting had started. It was difficult for me to stand there realizing that all that has been accomplished was to give Mr. Simon an unexpected opportunity to campaign in our neighborhood. Furthermore, candidates usually go out of their way to convince voters that they want to do "everything" possible for them, i.e. help their cause. In this case, Mr. Simon told the attendance about the "Fait accompli" and that’s that. When I tried to question his position, he replied: "I don’t know you. Who are you? Everybody knows me here. I lived in Rockaway all my life." I stopped short to tell him that although I have a French accent, I am an American citizen; a taxpayer and I live up the street, which is not his case. I just didn’t want to antagonize him.

The way Mr. Simon presented the situation sounded like Mr. Miller is doing Rockaway a great favor by making himself a millionaire here. Should Mr. Miller be regarded as our new savior? Thank you Santa Miller. Maybe things are going to turn for the best and the drug dealers, addicts and other criminals will disappear, while we will get crazy trying to find a parking spot for our cars in our neighborhood. In any case it would be great to take up the challenge and fight the issue in the courts. I don’t like the idea that the rich, "the connected", the "in-touch" always win and that the underdog has to pay the price for this. Because the underdog is guaranteed the same rights as whoever else, at least that’s the way it’s supposed to be. But one has to pick one’s fights and we don’t have the soldiers to wage this war.

JOELLE BALLONZOLI


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