Wohl Is A Disgrace
I have just read the letter regarding "Dirty War Criminals" As I do respect the opinion of others, it is a shame that a person living in this country can feel that way of our troops. Our troops are fighting for their lives to protect the people of this country. They are just as much heroes as the FDNY and NYPD were on 9-11. All of these brave men and women are putting our lives ahead of themselves. We have our freedom because of he-ros like this. It is disgracful that they would be called murders, bullies, and cowards. They are fighting for what America stands for "FREEDOM" Whether you are against or pro war don't punish our troops with your hurtful and harmful words. Everyone should wave their flag with pride and what it stands for. Keep in your hearts and prays all of the "heroes."
Wohl Should Be Human Shield
I picked up this evenings Wave and could not believe what I was reading! Then again, I am in America and be-ing so we allow people like you to speak their minds, regardless of how unpatriotic they might be. Stephen, you fall into the same category as the rest of the anti-war activist we have been forced to hear from. Well let me tell you something.
I am able to right this letter tonight because of the men and women of the
United States Military who have given their lives for my freedom. I am not here tonight because of you or Sheryl Crowe, Rosie O'Donnell, Mar-tin Sheen, George Clooney, Jane Fon-da or Phil Donahue, sacrificing their lives for me.
I say we should support the Presi-dent of the United States and the U. S. military and tell the liberal, tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hippy, tie-dyed liberals like yourself to go whine somewhere else. After all, if you lived in Iraq, you wouldn't be allowed the freedom of speech that you were given.
Stephen, I think you and your kind would make a great human shields. What better way for you to make yourself known. I'm sure we can take up a collection to buy you a one-way ticket to Baghdad you ungrateful SOB.
The Power of Words
First, I would like to thank you for publishing my letter in last week's Wave. Ah the power of words! It's interesting to see the reaction my letter has caused. Somehow I am not surprised that people in our community would rather focus on who wrote the letter and their right to do so. Rather than addressing the serious issue described in the letter. How can there ever be a positive change to ensure children's safety in such a angry and suspicious climate? These people should take the powerful energy now being exuded and channel it into positive change for the social and emotional well-being of our children. When you point a finger, bend at the elbow. This witch hunt must stop immediately. It will serve no good purpose.
I would like to close by saying that I am one of many desperate parents who have to try and soothe a child who has been devastated by torment from peers. That was my only motivation as the letter writer. Can't these people see this? Please publish my letter so the community can see what has transpired. I would like to close by asking again that we all work to ensure the safety and well being of all our children. It is our duty.
Shame on Wohl
Stephen Wohl, how dare you! I have my only son in the U.S. Coast Guard, and two other young men who are his buddies. I was very lucky to meet them and they are now a part of my life for three days. They are out there, protecting our country and you!!!
They are not criminals. Again, how Dare You!!!! What will you say about David Bloom from Channel 4 next week! Shame on you.
Should Not Have Printed Letter
Obviously this is a free and great country. People have a right to what they say, they also have those rights for one main reason. Our armed for-ces that for over 225 years have been defending the United States of Amer-ica! Stephen Wohl wrote a derogatory letter about our armed forces, which in my opinion should not have been printed by The Wave. He calls them war criminals! How dare you! They are fighting a brutal dictator who would not hesitate to use weapons of mass destruction against us. On our own soil in our own backyards, this is a man who celebrates 9-11 with mur-als. I had friends who died at the towers, did you?
This same man if you can call him that is also responsible for the torture and murder of POWS. You call our troops cowards, you are living in the wrong country the real coward is hopefully dead in Iraq!
You should be ashamed of yourself for using your freedom of speech in such a cowardly attack on the people defending your freedom. The Wave should also use better judgment in printing letters out of respect to the families of people serving in Iraq!
God bless our troops! God bless America!
Don't Knock Duane Reade
I think that some of the people who are protesting Duane Reade have lost touch with reality. There are other billboard signs around Rockaway, and just because this one happens to point towards a minority of the community it is time to huff and puff?
This place is going to create dozens of jobs with benefits, not many (if any) businesses on 116 street can offer the opportunities that Duane Rea-de is going to bring. These jobs are especially needed during these rough economic times.
Pursue Peace, Not War
The following letter was sent to President George Bush by a former Rockaway resident who now lives in the Netherlands.
Dear President Bush:
I strongly support our country pursuing peaceful resolutions with Iraq and other nations. I believe the most effective means for creating lasting peace do not involve violence. I be-lieve leadership means forging new ways to handle situations better. While violence is a common approach to fearful situations, the world is too often left reeling from those attempts. If we examine the success of this strategy using the Middle East as an example, we see its legacy as a cycle of bloodshed spiraling out for the last thousands of years to today.
Here we stand with the crucial decision of whether to improve world security through peaceful means or by trying to control what scares us through domination. Your administration has promoted the belief that by destroying what we disagree with we can drive it away and out of our lives. Destruction and domination are the breeding grounds of hate, division and retaliation not security.
We will achieve what we move to-ward and be the beneficiaries of the approach we advance. If we pursue violence, we will continue to fuel a world where disagreements are ap-proached with a might makes right mentality. Leaving us no better and potentially far worse off than where we are now; fearful of whomever we believe has the weaponry to wield against us. If we approach world security using peaceful methods, we will deepen international bonds of integrity and cooperation, the backbone of strong and supportive relationships.
After September 11, the heightened concern by the citizens of the United States regarding unstable governments and groups with a history of aggression is easily understood. To be concerned and work vigilantly for a peaceful and cooperative world is wise and responsible. But to protect our citizens by killing the citizens of other nations makes us murderers and hypocrites. We should know better, especially after being victims of brutality.
Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, President Jimmy Carter and others have made changes many thought impossible without violence. They did so while expressing their views with dignity of self and toward those whose minds they sought to change. Nobel Peace Prizes are given to promoters and employers of peace. Rightfully, those in positions of power, be they parents or teachers, supervisors or nations, who use their might to beat others into submission are not considered worthy of honor. We have laws and institutions set-up to protect our citizens from this type of thinking because violence is not a management style our society condones. To kill and destroy when we have so much intellect, compassion, and grace is to underestimate the American people and the people of the world. I believe that America and its leaders have strength far greater than the weapons we possess.
Mr. President, you have the world's attention. As the President of the United States, it is your job to keep us safe. You can do this by using the people of our nation and of the world to call forth our collective brilliance to bring about security through peaceful means.
SUSAN NAVARRO REXROAD
Forget The Billboard
The following letter was sent to the CEO of Duane Reade.
Dear Mr. Cuti:
I trust that you've been receiving mail from residents of the Rockaway peninsula concerning the new construction of a Duane Reade store at Beach 116 St. and Beach Channel Drive, particularly with respect to the large billboard atop the building. I would like to inform you of a few important points concerning this location.
As you know, community residents are very upset because of the proposed billboard's proximity to Tribute Park, a beautiful waterfront remembrance to the 80+ people our community lost on 9-11-01, and shortly thereafter with the plane crash on 11-12-01. I don't know if any other community in the city sustained such an enormous impact. We cherish our seashore community. Our coastlines, both ocean and bay, are integral to our way of life. Perhaps because of our geographical isolation, we are a very close-knit community as well.
I would like to make this point to you: Because of our geographical isolation, virtually all of your business at this site will be from the Rockaway community. Unlike other locations, where a billboard might attract customers who are passing through, this billboard will service primarily Rock-away residents, all of whom will be well aware of the store's location and offerings without the aid of a billboard. The only "pass through" business you would receive would be occasional traffic to Atlantic Beach/Long Beach if the Belt Parkway is jammed, or limited vehicles providing goods and services to this community, all of whom have their own neighborhood pharmacies. If your intention is to rent out advertising space on the billboard to other concerns, we in Rock-away will be sure to remember Duane Reade's attitude toward our community and we will be sure not to patronize any advertisers on that billboard. Are you willing to alienate 90% of your customer base just to advertise to the 10% passing through this small peninsula?
I would urge you to come and look at the location. Take a look at our beautiful views, meet our dedicated community leaders and you will immediately see the impact of the billboard and adjacent parking lot to our neighborhood quality, to our waterfront and to this planned oasis. Even if your conscience is not your guide, having the billboard removed and building a tall, solid buffer wall between the park and the store's parking lot would go a long way toward public perception of Duane Reade as a community-friendly company. And we all know that good community relations translates into dollars for your company. Please do the right thing for everyone concerned: remove the billboard and erect an attractive buffer wall in your parking lot.
Complains About Business
I so often hear complaints about many of the businesses located in the community that are utterly disrespectful towards Rockaway residents who spend their monies at those establishments and make it possible for the businesses to keep their doors open.
I so often hear about a lot of these store owners who don't live in the community; won't hire Rockaways residents and never give anything back to community events, churches, housing developments - or the community in general.
I so often hear about shoddy products and discourteous service offered to Rockaway residents - especially those who are of color, indigenous, and often time lower income earners.
And while I hear I wonder, why don't the religious leaders practice their gospel/teachings more socially and do something? Why don't those civil, social, political, etc. organizations that exist do something- or at least say something? I guess, more importantly why don't the consumers do something by simply spending their monies at stores where they are treated cordially and respectfully?
Not to attack anyone in particular (not yet, anyway), but why is there such a proliferation of "dollar store," offering more and more and more inferior products; continued disrespectful and discourteous service and less and less jobs for Rockaway residents especially our youth?
And where are our voices of protest, progress and transformation that are seriously committed to creating action to implement authentic, monumental and proactive change based on a value system that is not about self or a select few?
As the winds, waves and flames of history and karma rage from one corner of the word to the other, no place will be forgotten nor will anyone be unaccountable for speaking up for justice, righteousness and just good ole decency and respect for their neighbors and the little ole sheep.
Give A Helping Hand
As a community activist, I am encouraging Rockaway residents to mark their calendars for a most worthy cause. Trinity Services, Inc. provides transportation and social events for senior citizens. A Spring luncheon will be held at Russo's On The Bay on Wednesday, April 30, at 12 noon.
The donation for the event is $40.00. This fundraiser will honor Dr. Kath-leen Cashin, Stanley Gelda, Robert Levine, Kathleen Riddle, Joseph Rug-giere.
Guardian Angel awards will be given to Sr. Hannah Cox and Sr. Patricia Walsh. Founders' awards will be given to Josephine McPartland and Virginia Shea.
Many of my senior citizen friends have enjoyed countless trips to different ports of the city and state thanks to Trinity Services, Inc.
Even if you are unable to attend this fundraiser, please mail a donation to Dr. Geraldine Chapey, Executive Dir-ector, 104-02 Rockaway Beach Blvd., Rockaway Park, NY 11694.
On behalf of my senior citizen fri-ends, I thank you!