Ashamed With City Council
As a citizen of New York City for sixty years, an Air Force enlisted man and a retired NYFD fireman and a registered democrat for forty years I'm ashamed of our local council representatives.
Our city, which took the hit for the country on 9/11 should have been the most united and steadfast in supporting our mission stated by our President standing at ground zero that day "I hear you and they will hear us".
The antiwar rallies that took place were what we are about, the acceptance of another's point of view to be heard and either absorbed or dismissed without reprisal. But the city hall chamber was not the place for the city council members who receive financial compensation for addressing city issues to function as the second United Nations and become involved in international politics.
They, like the rest of the citizenry, should have expressed their views at the street demonstrations, not in the city council chamber. Their decision to give their personal view and to call for a vote on a international issue, their resolution 549, which proclaimed a lack of support for our Presidents position on the enforcement of the United Nations resolution number 1441.
That this resolution and vote with all the pressing issues directly affecting the City even took place, displacing other resolutions should never have happened.
That their vote may not have represented the view of their constituents is also another point.
The seventeen members of the city council, Joseph Addabbo, Tony Ave-lla, Simcha Felder, Lewis Fidler, Dennis Gallagher, James Gennaro, Melinda Katz, Andrew Lanza, Mich-ael MC Mahon, Michael Nelson, James Oddo, Madeline Provenzano, Domenic Recchia, Joel Rivera, Helen Sears, Peter Valone jr., David Wep-rin, who registered NO votes, in person, after the voice ballot, took a position that this resolution either should not have been called to floor, or one of support for their President. The thirty four members of the city council who voted yes should apply for positions at the United Nations as their politics are beyond local issues. The seventeen city council members who stood apart represented the silent majority; they represent and served their posts well.
I repeat: thieves for Exxon and BP, collaborators with criminal conspirators, mass murderers, coward-bullies, duped fools.
To all readers of The Wave (including those who resort to anti-free spe-ech intimations of physical threat), to all Rockawayites and south-Queens folk, I issue the following challenge: invite me to address your church, your synagogue, your mosque, your civic organization, your social club, your school, your University, your American Legion or VFW post, or an informal gathering of 10 people seated around your coffee table. I need one hour of your time to impart what you've been kept from knowing, and I'll be there with just a day's notice (no charge).
If the program in your brain is not already the immutable property of General Electric, Rupert Murdoch, Viacom, and Disney, accept my challenge - BEFORE you totally donate to Exxon/Bush/Enron your Social Security retirement monies, your access to health care, the American public education system, the remainder of the unspoiled natural world, your liberties, and your sons.
Our Misguided Malcontent
I am writing in response to the sadly misinformed, misdirected and disorganized letter by Stephen Wohl last week. If I read his letter to the UN Security Council correctly (and let me tell you that was no simple task, given the poor syntax and me-andering sentences), Mr. Wohl basically sees the United States as an aggressive bully out for imperialist expansion and oil at any cost.
If I remember correctly, wasn't it Iraq that invaded Kuwait in an attempt to expand its domain into the Persian Gulf and grab a few oil fields in the process? Mr. Wohl then goes on to assert that it is the UN's mission to stop this overt American aggression. I suppose as an American who agrees with our President's policy, I would be considered part of Mr. Wohl's own evil axis of greedy, bloodthirsty, capitalist aggressors. Allow me to inform our misguided, malcontent on the actual facts of the situation as seen through the eyes of someone with no particular ax to grind or ideology to espouse aside from the truth.
1. The United States has a right to protect its people irregardless of UN approval.
2. The UN itself has failed to enforce its own mandates over the past 12 years regarding the Iraq situation. Yet you now ask it to grow teeth for the sole purpose of biting the hand that feeds it. And in an even greater irony, your UN friends France and Germany have been profiting at the expense of world security by securing oil contracts with Iraq in direct defiance of the UN's own sanctions!
3. It has only been through American-led efforts that Muslims are not being slaughtered in Bosnia to this day. Yes, my choleric comrade, the Europeans could not even clean up their own back yard.
4. Iraq has clearly been aiding and abetting terrorists as evidenced by the fact that Al Qaeda operatives have sought and found medical care in Iraq after their rout in Afghan-istan by U.S. forces. Furthermore, a terrorist in-volved in the murder of an American Foreign Service officer in Jordan is known to be currently residing in Baghdad. Still further, Al Qaeda members have received training on chemical and biological weaponry courtesy of the Iraqi military as recently discovered through the arrests of suspects in London preparing deadly Ricin chemical weapons. Given this and many other examples, please don't insult our intelligence by stating that there is no proof of Iraqi complicity in worldwide terrorism.
5. Your precious Security Council has its own agenda, which is clearly in opposition to American interests. Look further into French UN am-bassador Monsieur DeVillepin's dos-sier and you will find an individual who idolizes the France of Emperor Napoleon. More irony, considering what Napoleon did to Russia at that time and where do we find the Russians now? Look into Mr. Chi-rac's long standing friendship with Saddam Hussein as well, it will give you a better idea of where he really stands. Don't fool yourself into be-lieving that politics ever rises above personal agendas. For my money, I'll trust an American President's agenda before the German Chancellor's or Chinese Chairman's. Simply put, the UN charter is not a suicide pact and the U.S. will always have the last say on when military action is needed to protect its security.
Finally, let me tell you what irks me most about Mr. Wohl's letter. Although I respect the right to reasoned discourse and voiced opposition, in fact it is essential to the vitality of a democracy, I am angered by the disrespect he shows towards this country. He often resorts to petty name-calling, referring to American forces as bullies and thieves, and the British as puppets and lackies. In my opinion this is most often the last resort of weak arguments and frustrated individuals.
Housing And More Housing
In prior letters, I have complained about the way housing is going up in our region. They are building houses here, there and everywhere, without a vision. They are building 3-4 and 5 family structures without greenery or a single garage, in a location where parking is very essential, especially during the summer months. As our beloved Mr. Emil R Lucev, The Wave curator, has said," they are giving us housing, and housing without a store or a new school"
Our schools are already overcrowded. With additional children coming in the section without new school seats, it is pure irresponsibility. As said in many prior letters, the only one to blame for this mess is the local Com-munity Board. I ask, isn't it true that a structure must be approved by the "Board", before a license is even granted by the Building Department and/or other departments governing the erection of a building? They should oversee that the new buildings have adequate schools and recreation facilities. It is their responsibility, not the builders. Is our local "Board" doing the right job?
Why are 3-4-5 family buildings going up without a single parking facility, or better yet, enough schools???
As we didn't have enough, according to The Wave, they are starting to build a 6 to 8 story building on the lot adjacent the Beach Club and a storage building right across from it. The Wave is vague as the nature of the two buildings. They are going to wait and see because a few telephone calls did not give them an answer It is very disturbing that a 6 to 8 story building is going up only a few yard away from the most beautiful beach in the North-ern Region. Don't we have enough of those buildings on the boardwalk already? I wonder how many cars and school aged children would a 172 unit (?) structure bring to the community. Again and again, where are they going to send their children to school or park their cars, especially in summer time?
What about a storage house a few yards from the boardwalk? Is it the right place for it? I don't think so. According to The Wave they have the "as of right" to build it, but even so, it is a damn shame to place a storage building on such a valuable piece of land. For now let's hope that the rum-ors are just that, rumors.
It looks like Rockaway is the only place where they use valuable land for a gas station or a flat tire service or even a junkyard. I wonder. What are they going to build where an electric station was just demolished?(right across the Jamaica Bay and a beautiful, unique picturesque Manhattan skyline).
Would it be a slaughterhouse? And, why not? If they have the "as of right" to be build, there shouldn't be any problem. Stop. Give me a break But, Hey, it may not be the worst that could happen there, considering the "smelly" sewer plan and the electric generator and the other apparatus mentioned above.
When, a while back, someone wanted to build a badly needed hotel/motel on the nearby site, giving jobs to the residents, the sky came down. On my dead body, was the cry. It was never built. The lot is still empty.
With a Beach Club gone we don't even a have a good restaurant to "show off" to our visiting friends. Sorry, the other restaurant is good, but not the same. On many nights, we take a walk on 116 Street for an ice cream, for a piece of pizza or just for a walk. At the empty lot, I get sad. A lot next to a beautiful beach used for selling cars or housing old ones. What a pity, what a disgrace. Many times, while sitting on a bench on the boardwalk, I close my eyes and I envision a lot with many trees and tables with girls in attired uniforms serving pizza, hot dogs, ice cream, a dish of spaghetti, with lots of music in the air. At the center of the lot an orchestra- stand for entertainment on weekends (in the summer and weather permitting) Look today it's O' Neil and his orchestra; next week music from Italy, polk-as from Poland or sombreros from Spain. How about a beauty contest in the summer time. Hey, we have beautiful chicks here, why not a Miss Rock-away beauty contest daydreaming? Right. Yes, but don't forget that dre-ams can come true.
To our representatives, come on guys, come out with a vision. After all that is what you are paid for, isn't it?
Leave the street name changing to someone else for a while. In twenty years I am in this region, I don't be-lieve I have seen or heard one suggestion. (sorry, one, the Olympic Style Pool at Riis) We must get involved in our community's affairs (even with letters only). We must make sure that it doesn't become another Coney Island and I don't mean the Coney Island of yesterday, "the Show Place of the World"
If people would show a little interest for the shaping of our community, it would be a gigantic step in the right direction, a step that would insure that our community will remain a "Piece of Paradise" as described by Mike Rosen, CBS, Ch.2.
Tell Them The Truth
Just a few observations. There are so many lovely new homes being built in the Rockaways from Rockaway Park to Riis Park Beach from what I see. The beach is certainly a wonderful place to live I would tell potential buyers.
I wonder, though, if the realtors are telling the new residents of the 2-
hour commute to and from Manhattan (your website says 45minutes from Neponsit) on the atrocious Green Line Bus due to pathetic service. I wonder if the newcomers will be curious as to why the stores on 116 street have filth right in front or dirty signs or why we do not have affordable fruit stands and supermarkets, a movie theater, a fish store and many other needed goods and services. Oh, and when walking in Neponsit I think the new residents will ask why there is graffiti on the mail boxes which the post master refuses to paint and litter right on those well groomed lawns that your paper boasts about on your website.
Yes, the Rockaways is an amazing venue with wonderful people (its' strongest point) but there are so many unnecessary evils that seem never to get fixed.
I hope that with new neighbors comes improvements and a rebirth of a glorious place.
A Fine Priest
This is my response to your article "Survivor Speaks Out With Voice of the Faithful." I would like the Rock-away community to know that we also had a very fine priest, Fr. Jim Sulli-van, speaking at our meeting. Thanks for printing it.
Thanks For Excellent Review
I want to thank editor Howard Schwach for writing an excellent review of my book, "The Cannibals at 110 Livingston Street."
Editor Schwach captured the most important point I was trying to get across, and that is political repressive psychiatry is used by the Board of Education and the U.F.T. to silence and destroy legitimate grievances of teachers, and that kangaroo court hearings are like gang rapes of the teachers.
Yes, I'm still angry and still hoping the guilty administrators and doctors and politicians I've named will be exposed and punished for their totalitarianism, and that no new teachers entering the system will be brutalized like we were.
It Was The Gem
Hi, Mr. Schwach. I believe that the movie house you were referring to in your article was the "Gem" Theatre in Far Rockaway. The "New Theatre" was in the 80's. I, too, was born in the Rockaways, and spent many a time going to Bergers and the Gem Thea-tre.