2003-05-23 / Letters



Minivan Story

Dear Editor:

The reporter from your staff who covered the accident that occurred on May 15, last Thursday morning, on the corner of Newport Avenue and Beach 124 Street needs to be corrected and the real facts reported about what really happened that morning.

My passenger and I were heading eastbound on Newport Avenue. A woman driving a purple van at too high a speed flew through the stop sign and pummeled into my vehicle. The force of the impact was so severe that my rear tire seared off and landed a block away. At that point, my car flipped onto its side and spun around coming to a stop halfway down the block on the wrong side of the road. Your caption stated "a minivan and an SUV kissed each other at Newport Ave. and Beach 128 Street." First of all, the accident happened on Beach 124 Street. Secondly and most Importantly, if the vehicles just "kissed" each other as stated, how did the tire fly off and the car flip over on its side? We both thank God that a car was not traveling in the opposite direction when our minivan flipped. The end result would have been much worse and possibly deadly. We would like to thank the EMT, police and fire departments for their quick response to our emergency.

Your caption also stated "Nobody was seriously hurt..." For your information, there were two people that were taken away in ambulances that morning. One of them in a neck brace with swollen, cut and bruised eyes. Each is still complaining about back pain and both were traumatized. The anxiety of the accident is still very real and we regret your description of the injuries suffered and your indifference to the accident in general.

Clearly the woman at fault was speeding, inattentive and uncaring about her responsibilities as a motor vehicle operator. That is apparent in that she was issued two tickets at the scene-one for driving out of class (with a permit) and one for not producing an insurance card. If she was a responsible person, she would never have gotten behind the wheel without a licensed driver as the law dictates. It's scary to think that so many are vulnerable to her negligence since she wasn't arrested at the scene and is still driving a motor vehicle. Her obvious disregard for the law is dangerous and should have warranted inclusion in your article.

While we appreciate the emphasis you put on the accident by including it in the current issue. You added insult to injury by not covering it accurately. We hope that your paper will do the required due diligence in the future before printing erroneous information.


Don't Want To Hear It!

Dear Editor:

As a parent who has two children in PS 114, a six year old who has been punched and hit, (for the past two years) and most recently had his head repeatedly slammed into the school bathrooms wall while his attacker had his hands around his neck choking him, (all by the same child, another six year old), an a older child who took a few punches in the face, at dismissal, I need to say a few things. First, and foremost, I do not want to hear from anyone, anymore that boys will be boys, and it will work itself out, because that is bull. My boys do not seek trouble, and when they are hurt, they need to be protected. In the case of my six year old, he does not want to go to 114 anymore, but I will not take him out, as he did nothing wrong. On the other hand, the kid who has been hurting him, has been in trouble for doing this to others, what happened to the bully law??

Well, since this attack took place before a certain principal left, nothing happened. It is difficult when a bully is 6 year old, what do you do??? I did not know what to do, as I am shocked at this violent behavior, but something has to be done, right, I mean if your child was being hurt, would you as a parent want it to end??

In the most recent incident with my older child, the matter was resolved in a very timely manner, and for the first time, the attacker was punished appropriately. It seems that PS114 has finally gotten a leader that will make a difference in the new principal Mr. O'Connell, who takes improper behavior very seriously. We send our children (at least I do) to school to get the best education possible so they may become productive citizens, not street fighters. I understand the anger, and frustration that parents of kids who are victimized go through, and to have someone who doesn't have a clue say that we as decent caring parents are over reacting, can be upsetting, but you know what they say is irrelevant. If your child is being hurt, report it to the principal's office. That there is only a handful of bullies in 114, there is no reason to have to put up with them. 

Thanks for letting me have my say.


The Democrats Are The Problem

Dear Editor:

I have to agree with you whole-heartedly that Rockaway has always got the short end of the stick.  However I would like to point out a few things you seem to have left out. 
When was the last time that Rockaway elected a representative of any part of the government that was not a Democrat?  In the old saying power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, I cannot think of a better example than Rockaway. 

Go all the way back to Mayor Wagner and a few others.  Ninety-five percent of the public housing in Queens was built in Rockaway where five percent of the people lived. I know that you don't like to hear it, but that started the downfall of Edgemere and Arverne. In the book coming out "Who Killed Rockaway," you can spell this out in one sentence. The rest of the dumping became more and more evident. The welfare hotels, the "homes for the aged," the refusal of the police to clean up 116th street, just goes on. Why? I blame the people who still vote the way the fathers vote. The old question, "Why do you vote democratic?" is still answered "My father was a Democrat and I am a Democrat." 

As long as this thinking continues the most dangerous places in Raceway will be to stand between a camera and Audrey Pheffer, Lou Simon and the young Dr. Choppy. The only thing they seem to accomplish is to take some senior citizens to free lunch, and get their pictures in The Wave. As for our two State Senators, they are safely tucked away in Jamaica. I still don't know what the Borough President does for her money and as far as the City Council is concerned they are and will continue to be a nonentity.  


Retain Sight Lines

Dear Editior:

It was an interesting story about Duane Reade and the dangerous driveway going right into the pedestrian intersection. The area of the Rockaway peninsula, a coastal community being surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Jamaica Bay is afforded protection by the federal, state and city laws and regulations.

The city and private party doing any construction along the coastline
especially adjacent to the waterfront must complete an environmental study. An environmental traffic and pedestrian study should have been completed by the City Planning Commission or a designated lead agen­cy issuing a permit prior to any approvals by the Department of Buildings. 

Any construction within our coastal area should be compatible with adjoining uses. The adjoining uses for Jamaica Bay determined by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is for bathing. The city also considers Jamaica Bay a Special Natural Waterfront Area (SNWA) that is part of their Waterfront Revitalization Program which is separate from the NYC Zoning Laws.

The federal government has Jamaica Bay mapped as part of a Marine Protected Area (MPA). This new type of designated area of the MPA is part of a June 4, 2002, Executive Order by the Bush Administration to develop a framework and national system with state and local government and nongovernmental entities to strengthen the management protection and conservation of existing marine protected areas and expand or establish new MPA areas.

What is even more important is the right of the public to access the shoreline. Public access is defined by the city as any opening or access from the shore and especially if this access goes to another public area like Rockaway Beach Boulevard, it must be protected and maintained and shall not be reduced. Public Access can be mapped by the city as a pubic street or sidewalk or a private easement on private property going to the waterfront is considered a public access.

The Duane Reade area contains an easement to the shore as mapped by the city.

Since Beach 116 Street is perpendicular and intersects at Jamaica Bay, under the NYC Waterfront Zoning Laws there should be mandatory view corridor to Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

The city and state should get with their own program and make sure all
actions which include development in our coastal area are consistent with
federal, state and city laws and regulations.


Backs Sharpton Candidacy

Dear Editor:

Regarding your comment in the May 2nd edition of Beachcomber regarding the Rev. Al Sharpton's Presidential candidacy here are several responses.

One, please leave the Tawana Brawley and Rockaway Five alone already. If I were to start talking about all the injustices committed by white people against most people of color, throughout the world for the last 400 years, you'd want to file those historical and factual truths in file 13 and demonize me for bringing them up. Let's see, you'd say something like: "That was the past. Let it go already." Ditto.

Two, from a global perspective the Reverend's "minority" classification is non-existent.  In other words, people of color are the global majority.

Oh, I agree, as far as The United States are concerned, he is a member of an ethnic minority. If that's what you mean, then say "ethnic minority." Then again, usage of that term has certain carte blanche within the U.N. and the international courts and I don't know if you'd want to lend to the substantiation of African-Americans within that context.

Three, if you feel that Reverend Sharpton is unqualified to run for President for know reasons that are
valid and substantial then state them.

You obviously have something against the Reverend. I am sure that negative or critical critiques can be levied against all the other candidates. Let's hear/see you express some of those.

I would "guestimate" that the Reverend's presence in the race is supported by at least 60 percent of this
country's Black population with the remaining numbers strongly behind the Honorable Carol Mosley-Braun.

When will we read in your pages about the historical significance and value of both Sharpton's and Mosley-Braun's candidacies?


A Salute to The Late Cardinal

Dear Editor:

May 12 was the sixth anniversary of the late Cardinal O'Connor's published pleas to continue rent control and to remind politicians and realtors of the "moral right" of every human being to have "affordable rents."

But the real estate market in New York City is worse today than ever. Six years ago on May 12, 1997, the New York Times published the sacred Cardinal's pleas to lawmakers to generate affordable rents, and yet, May 13, 2003 will be "D" Day for up to 60,000 properties in a Department of Finance Tax Lien Sale. This revolutionary tax sale may be one of the largest in New York State history, and may take away property from private owners from the Wall Street area to all five boroughs, including much of Rockaway, New York.

In addition to a potentially huge tax lien sale, is the problematic "homeownership program," wherein most public housing seniors will never be able to afford the co-op fees. And then there is that unholy 18.5 property tax increase. God blessed New York with a holy man, and yet it is apparent that NOBODY LISTENED.


Minimize Need

Most people don't think of household cleaners as harmful, but helpful. After all, they do help you out when you spill something or your bathtub gets grimy. But these products can quickly switch sides, seriously harming yourself or a loved one. Household cleaners often contain certain toxins, which can be lethal if ingested. These products are hazardous in the environment.

One solution to this problem is to use alternative cleaners, nearly all of which can be made with non-toxic household products. For example, a tub and tile cleaner can be made by mixing white wine, vinegar, baking soda and water, a simple mildew remover is produced by mixing equal parts of vinegar and salt.

Another option is to minimize the need for these products. Use foil to reduce clean up. Clear a clogged drain with a snake instead of acidic drain cleaner. Many products can be re-used,such as paint thinner.

Whatever you choose to do, keep the well being of yourself, your family, and the Earth in mind.


No To Life Support Technology

Dear Editor:

Thank you for continued interest in coastal issues reporting. Unfortunately, my mother's tortured death, after stroke and on life support system in coma, is embedding in the struggles!

I was threatened with arrest on several occasions, while she was dying, and it was anxiety producing, etc. There was no one to assist at the nursing home or hospital. Taking down plate numbers is no crime!

When she was admitted reportedly she fell out of the bed and her arm was all black and blue and swollen when on intravenous. It's unclear why....

In the nursing home her pulmonary pressure often could not be maintained at a level to be able to breathe unless she was suctioned. She was even scratching her face in the struggle to breathe. The nursing home often had to shift her to the hospital for this pulmonary pressure benefit to be available. She may have drowned at the hospital in the feeding tube fluid (given color and texture of what was being suctioned before she died). A friend's father drowned this way, when on a different system, the feeding fluid was allowed to accumulate (As best recalled and actually witnessed!) The fluid can back up through the esophagus and come down the trachea (breathing tubes to the lungs) unless care is taken.

My confidence in the technology has been shaken, and it's just almost like euthanasia from all appearances. Thank you for your kind attention in adding my complaints to others of the recent past. Yes there are skilled and courteous doctors, nurses, and technicians who do their utmost to save and maintain lives.

But problems exist and they cause too much grief! The State Department of Health was of no help in addressing complaints (A slow individual was even entering her room) and the no problems correspondence arrived after she had already passed. I was never interviewed for complaints made.

Thank you for your kind attention. Her appearance in the struggle was at times too gruesome to bear (as the Editor has achnowledged)......


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