2003-03-29 / Letters


Rockaway Is A Rat Hole
Letters Rockaway Is A Rat Hole

This letter was sent to The Wave in response to the paper's new policy of charging for Internet access for the current issue The paper's archives remain free of charge.

Dear Editor;

Thanks for cutting off access to those of us who live outside of NY. I have been looking at your web site to keep updated on what's going on back home. Even though it's a rat hole and I wouldn't move back there in a million years, Rockaway will always be home. By forcing people to pay to look at your web site, you have taken the last piece of Rockaway away from many of us. Although I enjoy keeping up with the Rockaway news, I mainly kept track of the obits. Over the past few years thanks to your site, I found that most of my parent's friends have passed away. I have been able to send condolence cards to the families of family friends from the past. I realize all you want is $20.00, but it's just not worth it to me. My three trains of thoughts are: 1. I rarely read the articles unless the headline is something that interests me. 2. It may be morbid, but I really only read the obits online. 3. Why should I pay for something that until now has been free?

In closing, growing up as a kid in Rockaway I always read the wave. During my time in the US Air Force, my parents sent The Wave to me every week. Even when I moved down to Maryland after my military service, my Grandmother got me a Wave subscription for many years. Thanks to your web site, I have saved copies of the obituaries of my Uncle, Grandfather, and Mother. In Nov-ember, I found out about my brother in-law's passing through your site. I am sorry not to have access to your web site any more, as it was truly my last real contact with Rockaway.


Get Out Pins and Ribbons

I was looking for something in my dresser drawer last night and I found my American flag lapel pin. I wondered why I stopped wearing it when it occurred to me. It was simply laziness on my part. I took it off for some reason and never put it back on. Pre 9/11, I never really displayed my patriotism aside from hanging an American flag on certain "patriotic" holidays. I wasn't unpatriotic or un-appreciative.  I just took my country and the freedoms and liberties it provides to me for granted. My generation grew up being able to take these things for granted. There were no real threats to us as children or young adults. I don't remember
Vietnam, and the Gulf War was on far away soil. We knew America was a great place to live.... we just couldn't appreciate how great because our way of life was never threatened.

Seeing that pin brought me back to the time post 9/11 - the anger, fear, and the patriotic feeling that overwhelmed the country. There were red, white and blue ribbons everywhere, American flags on cars, etc.  The country seemed to be coming together in the face of tragedy. Now, while we are trying to keep our country in tact by attempting to overthrow Saddam Hussein, our country seems more divided than ever.

It's not anti-Ameri-can to protest war. On the contrary, free speech is one of the major principles that this country is built on. I don't think you can find one person who WANTS a war. The number of American casualties is already mounting. Nobody wants that. How-ever, and this is my opinion, it IS anti-American to call our President and our troops "war criminals". It IS anti-American to say that the US deserved to be attacked on 9/11/01. It IS anti-American to say that we de-serve to be attacked again. These are AMERICAN protesters saying this. We were not threatening aggression against any entity on 9/11/01. It was simply an animalistic, savage, and, despite what Bill Maher says, a cowardly attack on our country.  The next time you hear someone spewing such contempt for America, don't get angry. We are divided enough. Just tell him/her how great this country is that someone can say all those things and still enjoy all the benefits and freedoms that this country provides without fear of retaliation. They'll have no clue how to res-pond.

There is sufficient evidence that Hussein has weapons to carry out a
similar attack, and that he was harboring AL-Queda members in the wake of 9/11. Iraq violated U.N. resolutions for 12 years. If he had nothing
to hide, why didn't Hussein allow weapons inspectors in until a few
months ago.... which left sufficient time to hide whatever weapons he
had? To say "War is not the answer" is very naive. To all who do not agree that we should be in Iraq, I ask you, what is the answer? If the US did not defend itself with warfare, we would still be an English colony, slavery would still exist, and Nazism would be the ruling world party. But again, everyone is entitled to his or her opinions.

So, whether or not you agree with the administration's decision to disarm Saddam Hussein, show your support for America. Get those ribbons and flag pins out of your drawer and display them proudly. Fly those
American flags. It is equally, if not more, as important to show your
support for our country and our troops today than it was post-9/11.


To Set The Record Straight

In response to Guy Maranga's letter of last week, I wish to clarify a statement contained within his article wherein he stated: "I was at an open school day where a teacher during class, with parents and children in the room, used a rude gesture towards Mrs. Vecchione when responding to a parent's question about school problems, as if to say 'ask her not me.'"

Natural instinct would suppose the teacher referred to would be his son's present teacher, which in this case is me. This is other than the fact and was confirmed both in conversations with Mr. Maranga and Mrs. Vecc-hione, wherein it was quite clearly stated that the incident happened during the last school year. Thank you for your courtesy in letting me set the record straight.


No More Ugly Skyline

Dear Editor;

How do you like the new building going up on the bay side of Beach 116 Street? Not bad. Eh. Well at least we don't have to look at the water anymore, and that ugly skyline of New York City with all them shining lights gleaming in your eyes at night. Oh yeah. Our local government is working for us making sure we won't be straining our eyes catching a glimpse of the sun setting over Jamaica bay anymore. Richard George from Beach 24 Street in Far Rockaway was complaining about a building going up over his right of way to the beach but no one listened. "If they do it to me they will do it to you" he said at many meetings on the peninsula over the years but no one listened. A few years ago at a Rockaway Residence Assoc-iation meeting I tried to bring that problem to the attention of the leaders but no one listened. And now it came to them. There is a right of way going down 116 Street to the bay. At one time there was a pavilion where the memorial park is going to be, and there was a yacht club on Beach 117 Street. Of course the builder has to follow certain rules within a coastal zone boundary in order to get permission to build. There are federal state and city rules that must be followed. It should all start with your local community board. A public hearing must be held. More than the As Of Right Law app-lies in a coastal zone boundary. New York Waterfront Revitalization Pro-gram {WRP} pursuant to the Coastal Zone Management Act applies to building within a coastal zone. A visual corridor to the water must be maintained

There must be a City Environmen-tal Quality Review. {CEQR}. A traffic study must be done which has to conform to the State Environmental Quality Review. [SEQR]. Title 15 of the Code Of Federal Regulations part 923 sec: 135 Enforcement comes into the mix. Is all that as clear as mud to you? If the builder follows all those rules and regulations he can build in a coastal zone boundary. In Rockaway if he chooses not to follow all those rules and regulations he will still build in a coastal zone boundary. If you don't believe me ask Richard George.


Some Quicker Than Others

Dear Editor;

The city council of New York voted to pass resolution number 100 which was sponsored by council member Miguel Martinez of the 10th council district and co-sponsored by Council member Joe Addabbo back in Sept-ember 5,2002.

This resolution would then go on to be presented to the full council for a vote. The resolution calling on the House of Representatives to appoint an appropriate Committee to oversee, and hold hearings into, the Flight 587 investigation, the safety of the Airbus A300-600, and pilot training.

The resolution was supported by Council Members Martinez, Addabbo, Avella, Diaz, Fidler, Foster, Jackson, Jenning Monserrate, Quinn, Rivera, Serrano, Brewer and Oddo.

This resolution seems stalled in council after seven months why? The Council hurried its agenda to vote on the lack of support for our President's enforcement of United Nations resolution number 1441, this issue and their vote did not represent the view of their constituents!


Stamp Sells Out Quickly

Dear Editor:

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.  I wanted to comment briefly on the Beachcomber's mention of the United States Postal Service's issuing a stamp to commemorate the Muslim Holiday Season.  First of all, the stamp has already been issued for its second season and tends to sell out very quickly.  Second-ly, it is unfortunate that there are still far too many Americans that insist on lumping all people of another race or religion into one group as opposed to seeing people for what they are-individuals!  In the popular 1970 TV series, All in the Family, when Archie Bunker would refer to people by race, he would use derogatory terms for Afro-Americans, Hispanics, Jews and other groups, and then refer to White Anglo Saxon Christians as, "us regular people".  The Archie Bunker character was created to satirize the ignorance of America's racist, and bigots.  Too many Archie Bunkers still exist in America; unfortunately, there is nothing funny about them.  The worldwide Muslim community did not come together and decide to destroy the World Trade Center anymore than the world of White Christians planned together to bomb the Oklahoma Federal Building.  Both acts were committed by misguided murderers whom we must judge as individuals, just as Allah (God) will judge us as individuals on the last day.


Surprised By Silverman

Dear Editor;

I just finished reading Norman Silverman's letter "A case for war not made".  To be honest I was surprised by Norman's comments.  It brings us back to the time when Germany started it's take over of Europe in the last century.  I was going to write a reply myself, but I thought that I could not express my feelings as well as Alistair Cooke did, in this Editorial on the BBC Website.

Norman, just think.   If the League of Nations, predecessor of the UN did the job it was mandated to do, millions of lives would have been saved, there may have not been World War Two, Korean Conflict and lastly the War in Viet Nam. 


Matter of Life And Death

Dear Editor;

I agree with your editorial pertaining to the local St. Patrick's Day parade. The rationale given by the local Rugby club is a poor excuse for breaking the law. Our community has a problem with both underage drinking and the use of marijuana. Unfor-tunately, the parents in this community refuse to acknowledge that our children have no difficulty acquiring either alcohol or drugs. I come from an Irish background and I have seen the devastating effects that alcohol can inflict on a family. I had to clean my uncle's remains after he died from years of drinking. Is this the future we want for our children? Do we want a generation to grow old with severe medical problems brought on by alcohol?

What message do we send to our children when as a community we continue to be silent about the rise in alcoholism among our younger population; when it is acceptable for young mothers and fathers to walk around the neighborhood outwardly drinking beer. We have a problem in this community where bars, stores and private families have no inhibitions with serving alcohol to our children. St. Patrick's Day is about hope and the belief in miracles, when did it become a day in which it was acceptable for families to get drunk. This problem is not a one or two day event; rather, it has become a sick and destructive routine.

The only remedy that is available, is for this community to begin to send out the message that getting drunk for any reason is wrong and destructive. In addition, that this community will not tolerate any commercial or private entity from allowing alcohol to be served to our children. IT IS A MATTER OF LIFE OR DEATH.


Thanks For Helping!

Dear Editor,

The family and friends would like to thank the people of Broad Channel and Rockaway for their generous donations and attendance at the Friend In Need Benefit held at the American Legion Hall on March 1.

Special thanks to Grassy Point, Duffy's Pub, American Deli, Channel Oil, Baygull Store, Channel Cutters, Dinos, Michael Farino, Jen Denesha, Denise Hock, The Raisins, Eddie Bestafka, North Channel Yacht Club, Irish Circle, Harbour Light, Nail Country, Top Top Salon, BCVFD, BCAC, P.S. 47 and St. Virgilius.

Last but not least, we would like to thank the American Legion for their incredible support and hard work that made this benefit for a very special person a huge success.


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