I’m what some people in Rockaway refer to as a DFD. Contrary to what some in Rockaway believe, the beach belongs to all of us - not just to people who live near it. I’ve got no problem with the current beach rules. I obey
them. In all the years that I have used the beach, I’ve never gotten a
ticket and I’ve never been hassled by a police officer or park employee.
Neither have my kids or any of my friends.
There are some rules I’d like to see changed. They are the parking
restrictions that effectively prevent me from using beach areas I’d like to
use. I’d like to be able to park my car on 130 Street, for example and
walk to the beach. I’d like to see some restrooms further west on the
beach. I’d like to see some concession stands further west on the beach.
I’d like to see far more enforcement of the littering rules and dog walking
rules, not less.
I’m working with a group of my friends and fellow beach users to develop some proposals for the city to review. There are a big number of people who fall into the DFD category. My group is working to organize them into an effective voice to make the beaches in Rockaway a place for all of us, not just Rockaway inhabitants, to enjoy God’s ocean. We don’t all go to the Hamptons, you know.
Thank you Barbara Frey for saying what I’ve been thinking! Our kids learn what we teach them by our
actions. Yesterday I was walking home from the post office near Councilman Addabbo’s office. I saw a
person drive up with a child in the car. I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears! This person pointed up at
the office name sign and told the child "That’s the bad man" then proceeded to make a dangerous u-turn while at the same time giving Jate Doremus, a person who’s done a lot for Rockaway, the middle finger. No beach rule is causing as much harm to our town as we are causing for ourselves with this type of utterly disrespectful behavior. I predict that children will become rowdy if the rules don’t apply to teenagers on the beach and on the block in a few short years.
The Mr. Murphy whose letter was in the paper last week was ridiculous. Mr. Murphy is free to vote for whomever he choose and voice his opinions. However, I believe that the language in which he chose to express his opinions is highly insulting to an entire community (Howard Beach) as well as to an entire group of people (Italian-Americans). In my opinion, Mr. Murphy’s comments reflect a mind clouded by prejudice.
Besides the offensive and bigoted rhetoric, there are some clearly false statements in Mr. Murphy’s letter.
For example, he states, in effect, that Councilman Addabbo has gotten no services for the "people and children of Rockaway." (By the way, aren’t children people?) Does Mr. Murphy mean that no school or youth group in Rockaway got anything this year or last through Mr. Addabbo’s efforts? Does he mean that no Rockaway resident who took a service complaint to Mr. Addabbo’s Rockaway office got satisfactory results?
Does he really mean that "nothing" has been done by the Councilman in Rockaway? Or does he just mean that what he wants to see done has not happened? If so, why doesn’t he just say so without all the insulting
No Place For ToddlersDear Editor:
I have never felt the need to write a letter to the editor before, but this issue is of special importance to me.
I have noticed how quickly the Parks Department has finished the new park here in Broad Channel. It looks lovely and it should be a nice respite on a hot summer day under the trees. However, there is one thing that concerns me. As a new mother of a four-month-old girl, I can only hope that it is still in the same good condition in 3 years when she is old enough to play there.
It seems the local teens from the area made the last park there a daily hangout, which made it an unsuitable environment for the children of the community. I am hopeful for the future and that the parents of the community will take an active role in keeping an eye on their "young adults" so the park does not get destroyed.
Thanks For Sand Castle
West End Realty held its 8th Annual Sand Castle/Sculpturing Contest on 116 Street Last Sunday. The weather was very unpredictable, one moment it was overcast the next sunny and then it threaten to rain at any moment, however it did not deter the determination of the contestants. The children and parents all brought their imagination with them. They made Elmo, Captain Nemo’s ship, American Flag, the Empire State Building, Castle with moats, magical Castle, under water Castle, and the Blarney Castle just to name a few.
The judges were Arlene Cornell local artist, Susan Locke publisher of the Wave, Stacey, Assistant Manager Green Point Savings Bank, Howie Schwach Editor of the Wave, and Warren Woodberry columnist of the NY Daily News. They had their work cut out for them; it was quite a difficult task. They had to vote on Originality, Imagination, and Creativity. They also had to take into consideration if it was only a single entry volunteered when asked by Barbara J. Morris owner of West End Realty and sponsor of this Annual Event.
I would like to thank the following people who, without their help it would not have been the success it was. Alphonse Catanese from Two Brothers Construction who was out early in the morning, measuring the boxes for the Contestants with his helper Mike. Steven and Kenny Good from the Sunset Diner and Beach Club, they supplied the tent and Ice Cold Water for the contestants. Ciro’s Pizzeria Beach 116th Street donated prize of Pizzas for some of the Lucky Winners, thank you Sal Licata and Maria. Rogoff’s, thanks to Peter who is always gracious, and discounted the Bogie Boards and some of the games that the contestants won. Lenny & Mitch Kohn, Rockaway Graphics who always go beyond what is expected, help to personalize the hats, fanny packs, award ribbons, judge buttons, trophies and of course the infamous West End Realty Sand Castle Tee Shirts. The Staff at West End Realty, Rose Breslin, Leslie Mahoney, Jane Bernard, John McLoughlin and Christopher Landolo, who are always very supportive in all the undertakings of their Broker, Barbara J. Morris to help make Rockaway a better place to live, work and play. A special thank you to Jate Doremous, he is the person who makes the numbers and is always there to help at the Registration Table. Councilman Joe Addabbo, Rich Banks, NYC Park Dept. for helping to arrange to have the special Permit. A special Thank you to my husband Dennis Morris, who cut his vacation short to be with me and stand in my Shadow; he is truly the Wind beneath my Wings.
Lucev Is Wrong About Moses
Nantucket homeowners & the Wave’s Emil Lucev have something in common...rocks. While the homeowners on that beautiful island are placing large rocks (boulders, really) on their beachfronts to thwart the onslaught of SUV traffic, it seems to me Rockaway’s Mr. Lucev has the rocks in his head!
In his July 18 Historical Views, Mr. Lucev continues his campaign to berate Robert Moses. For the record, Moses built the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, The Throg’s Neck Bridge, The Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, The Triborough Bridge, The Queens Midtown Tunnel, The Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, the UN’s Headquarters, Shea Stadium, both the ‘39 & ‘64 World’s Fairs, Lincoln Center, 23 Public Housing Projects (40,000 apartments), Jones Beach, Jacob Riis Park & Beach, The Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, The ‘Forever-Wild’ Adirondacks, 658 City, County & NY State Parks (2½ million acres, including 12 NYC pools and three zoos), the LIE - proposed by him in ‘35, but built in the 50’s -, both the Northern & Southern State Parkways, the Meadowbrook, Clearview & Cross Island Parkways, the Cross-Bronx Expressway, The B-Q-E and The Major Deegan & Bruckner Expressways (in all, 416 miles of Parkways). And there’s much more!
Lucev says that anybody with Moses’ power, secrecy, public funds and core of engineers could have done the same thing. Huh! Can I point out that few, if any, in America - now in our 228th glorious year - have ever left such a legacy? Maybe Haussman, Peter the Great or Phidias or some recent guy in Mexico City or Brasilia, but certainly Moses record in NY is simply astounding.
Lucev says Moses wasn’t farsighted enough...once his roads were built they were almost immediately clogged. First, he belittles this amazing parkway/highway construction, then - with brilliance that only hindsight affords - he scoffs that Moses never forecast New York’s immediate love affair with car commuting and weekend trips to the beach. The bane of all commuters, the Cross-Bronx, should be 10 lanes, no question...but how would Mr. Lucev judge the condemnation of many more blocks of that old-time Italian & Puerto-Rican neighborhood.
Of course this love affair hasn’t been limited to New York as Chicago’s Dan Ryan & Kennedy Expressways were equally throttled upon their 60’s completions and LA’s freeways likewise in the 80’s. Only difference is that Chicago could have learned from NY, and LA could have learned both from Chicago & NY, but neither did. And, NY had no one to learn from as Moses was breaking new ground...his proposals were fresh, new, phantasmagorical.
In the Feb 1939 Atlantic Monthly, Cleveland Rogers offered another perspective on Moses:
"He (in 1929 Moses investigated a failed NY bank) urged segregation of ‘thrift’ accounts in commercial banks; official examination of private banks; regulation of brokerage houses; control of the issuance of securities, ‘down to the last detail,’ whether those of a bank or a utility company; abolition of private banks, and the holding of directors criminally liable for the management of financial institutions. These recommendations were disregarded by the joint legislative committee, whose alternatives were denounced by Moses as ‘puerile.’ and "I don’t know why I didn’t appreciate Woodrow Wilson while he was alive," Mr. Moses says. "I thought he was just a college professor. I realize now that he was a very great man. The League of Nations could not be made to work when it was first set up, yet the idea that this or any country can for any length of time pursue a policy of isolation is ridiculous."
He worked under Alfred E. Smith & Fiorello LaGuardia, among others. The man was a visionary...but it was his iron will, incredible public spiritedness & boundless energy that separates him from us all. Certainly, late in life, his energy, stubbornness & air of superiority were his downfall.
Lastly, Lucev seems untroubled with the horrible, incompetent stewardship of Jacob Riis Park today. The battered benches, the filthy beaches, the 5-year (or is it longer) closure of the bath house, the forever declining maintenance of the beautiful property, the various olympic-sized press releases about a pool...none of this attracts his attention, only what Robert Moses was or was not thinkin’ 50 years ago. This, I regret.
Captain Talamo says there is no selective enforcement of the laws in New York City.
Hogwash! On the very same day he sent squads of police to the "very dangerous" fundraiser, there were at least 120 cars illegally parked on the south side of Shore Front Parkway from B 94 street east to Rockaway Beach Blvd. and B 72 Street and not one of these cars had a summons for illegal parking!
Maybe they belonged to the cops raiding the fundraiser.
Appalled Over Comment
Dear Mr. Addabbo,
I was absolutely appalled to read the statements of your aide, Ms. Doremus, who was quoted in The Wave as saying that most of the people at the boardwalk rally last week were there to protest the crackdown on alcohol at beach parties. I hope your other aides have a better feeling for the pulse of the community and a much better command of public relations.
Several weeks ago you and I spoke about beach safety and the use of the beach and boardwalk. I thought I had conveyed to you that the overwhelming majority of residents are for the sensible and safe use of our neighborhood. I remember asking if the parks commissioner is a reasonable person, an adult. Now, I see that not only are the people of Rockaway being obstructed by writing requests from the ivory tower, the Arsenal, but we are also being misrepresented and diminished by your aide as well.
ERNEST HOROWITZ M.D.
Write To BenepeDear Editor:
I agree with last weeks letter-writers who stated ‘Rockaway is Treated Differently’; ‘The issue is Beach Use’ and ‘Beer Is Not the Issue’. However, I have learned first hand that we need to be focused in our attempt to make changes. To illustrate how the "Real Reason Was Lost by the Media" let me explain: Last Sunday I read a Daily News article highlighting how beach-goers were drinking beer on the Coney Island and Orchard beaches without being issued a summons. Later I went to the beach here at 90 Street and saw a police officer giving a summons to someone for having a beer. Angered at the double standard I witnessed, I wrote the Daily News about enforcement of beach rules here in Rockaway. Among other things, I wrote, ‘Folks here in Rockaway are not just complaining about being able to enjoy a few beers on the beach, they are witnessing the development of a police state….It is Mr. Bloomberg’s job to improve the quality of life for all N.Y’ers, not only those who choose to enjoy the symphony….Rockaway residents have tolerated sub-standard quality of life issues here for a long time SOLELY because we at least have the beach to enjoy….the combined efforts of local law enforcement, the parks commissioner and hungry real estate developers have succeeded in ripping out the heart and soul of this community’.
My letter made it in the paper but it was chopped up and completely changed to sound as if live here in Rockaway would be over if we weren’t able to have a beer on the beach.
Perhaps writing letters to the paper isn’t the best answer. Let’s go straight to the source. If Mr. Benepe needs letters, let’s flood his office with them. (FYI: his address is, The Arsenal, Central Park, 830 5th Avenue, NY, NY 10021). Maybe we also need to put the precinct on speed dial so that EVERY time we see someone polluting our beach, or playing loud music, or, heaven forbid, wearing a snorkel, we can flood them with calls. Perhaps then they’ll realize how they need to focus their efforts on improving our quality of life, not their quantity of summonses.
Break The Law
I can’t believe my ears. I couldn’t possibly have heard what I think our
esteemed Councilman, Joseph P. Addabbo said, on microphone at the concert in Fort Tilden on Sunday night. He told us to go out on the beach. Walk the boardwalk. He
intimated that we should use the ocean even if it was after hours. He did not say the rules would be changed. He apparently was telling us to break the law.
This was in response to the boos he got when he got up to speak as well as the smattering of applause. He can tell us anything he wants. If we were to follow his advice, we would be ticketed and fined.
SARA S. BERGER
Thanks The Police
The Parks Department and the 100 precinct have been getting much negative publicity lately. There were some incidents that even I decried.
However, I want to publicly thank them for their cooperation on July 20. My daughter, Virginia exchanged wedding vows with Christian Dobles at a huge celebration on the beach at 131 Street. We had a street permit, a beach permit, and a sound permit.
I had all my neighbors sign an agreement that they had no objections. It was a lovely party and it went off without a hitch.
Walter J. Roberts
Disturbed By 2 Articles
I am a senior who had lived in Rockaway for more than 50 years, 40 of which on this very block. I was very disturbed by two articles (I am just talking about what I feel are the most important).
First the problem with getting on the bus if you are in a wheelchair. For many years I had to travel on the bus with someone who was in wheelchair. I can tell you from personal experience it is a horrible experience to say the least. I’ve stood over an hour in both freezing cold and boiling heat – have been on the bus only to find we could not get off as the lift would not go down. I thought since this was so bad I would get Access-A-Ride – what a joke. We would miss our doctor’s appointment because they would show up late or not at all; if we were lucky enough to get there we had to wait hours to get home. I said forget that, went back to the torture of the bus. Even though a person is disabled it does not mean they don’t need to get around, to food shop, to go to a bank, to get a hair cut, etc.; the bus company seems to think the disabled just don’t count.
Unfortunately, the person I used to go with in the wheelchair has passed away but that still does not stop me from feeling really down when I see a poor soul trying to get on a bus, who just has to stay at the bus stop and wait while the able-bodied people ride.
What is wrong with our so-called politicians, don’t they know that there is a law, which states the disabled have the right of access (a federal law).
Now for the second article. Why is everyone getting bent out of shape over adults having a party on the beach, (Which when I was young, we did on a regular basis) when I see for myself people (of all ages) walking along the streets in Far Rockaway, on Seagirt Blvd., and 116 St. etc. drinking.
The police have their hands full dealing with drugs, burglaries, and much more.
The way I see it, this whole situation has blown up over nothing.
Adults who are acting in a proper manner and not upsetting others should be let alone as long as they are not breaking the law.
Who needs miles of beach if all the people can’t enjoy it? The birds are, because they have excluded people from several sections of the beach, which are set aside for the birds. What about those who pay for the taxes around here?
I hope I haven’t made a pest of myself but I really feel this is where I live and enjoy the rights of an American to say what I feel is right.
Hope you will take a closer look at what I’ve said.
MARY ANN WELSH
First, The Park!Dear Editor:
The Memorial Park on the forgotten wasted space of land at Beach 116 Street on Jamaica Bay was a good idea for the area. The original intent for the site was a little different; 9/11 changed that. That last strip of Marine Park, the land along the bayfront at Beach 116 Street, lay fallow for more than 50 years until Viking Sail 2000 was made a reality by Wave writer Stuart W. Mirsky. Stuart, of course, was not alone in the entire matter. The Chamber of Commerce joined the effort to get the Vikings here, and they were instrumental in getting the little park cleared of the mounds of debris that had accumulated over the years. Community organizations from Rockaway and Brooklyn worked hard to make Viking Sail 2000 a reality and the event turned out to be one of the most entertaining and exciting moments in the history of Rockaway. Watching the Viking ships come around the corner of the Bay with their sails crowned by the winds gave one the feeling that we were living in another time. It was during the planning of that glorious event that the idea of the park was spawned; it was a good plan and great use for the last unused strip of Marine Park.
There had been a pier on, or close to, the park site but it had been washed away during a storm about forty years ago. When proposing the park, I strongly advised the Chamber of Commerce that they look into restoring that pier before the park was built. The pier was the key to protecting the only practical place in the area for a ferryboat landing in the area. Knowing the way the city works, I figured if the park were built first, the city would use that as an excuse to do nothing about the pier. "Well you just spent public money on a park and now you want us to rip it out and put in a pier. I don’t think the Army Corps of Engineers will go along with that." Obviously my pleadings fell on deaf ears.
Then, along comes Duane Reade, and with misguided information from the City Planning Commission, they obtain permits to build a store, a store that now may prevent the construction of the Memorial Park.
It’s important to note that all new building in Rockaway must comply with the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. Rockaway was declared a Coastal Zone Boundary in 1982 and later, a Special Natural Waterfront Area. Jamaica Bay was made a Marine Protected Area and signed into law by President Bush on June 4, 2001. One of the questions in the Federal Consistency Assessment Form asks if the activity is adjacent to a state, county, or local park. Had the city required that the builders of Duane Reade fill out a Federal Consistency Assessment Form, the construction would very likely not have been completed, or at least not in its present form, in which a parking lot, with its noxious fumes, lies beside a park.
This is not a question of who came first, the chicken or the egg. The city misadvised the builders of Duane Reade and allowed them to construct a building that is in violation of federal law. Now it’s up to the promoters of the park to get their acts together and fight for their rights through the proper agencies. It’s one thing to bark up the wrong tree, but you have to know what you are barking about. I am willing to share my research with anyone willing to do something with it. Any takers?
More ‘Crazy’ Ideas
Last Wednesday I had my usual hour and twenty minute commute home from Manhattan. I then picked up some dinner on 129 Street and after picking up some pizza, sat in my car for five minutes waiting for the car blocking me to move. After dinner I went for a bike ride with my wife and 2-year-old daughter towards Breezy Point. Needless to say, between the construction on Rockaway Beach Blvd. (we took a detour to Newport) this was challenging. During the bike ride, my wife and I discussed whether we would eventually leave Rockaway (we would love to stay) or be forced to ship our daughter off to high school out of the peninsula.
These problems are not new, nor do I pretend to have all the answers. But I do have a few ideas. I will not address each issue in this letter. One at a time will surely do. Before I even begin, let me say that I don’t know about any plans in the works on any of these issues. I’m not even sure if everything I assume is correct. But here goes nothing. Part one of "Call me Crazy" (which my friends and family do all the time).
I’ll start with the bike riding challenge. I see all the work going on developing the center mall between 126 Street and 140 Street. I must first say that I live on the beach block and have two cars with one spot. I realize (first assumption) that there will no longer be parking on the boulevard and quite frankly it doesn’t bother me. I will have to make do. Quite frankly, some of the vans parked there overnight did nothing for the area.
I never understood the need for two lanes of traffic where the center malls exist now. I think that between 149th Street and 126 Street there should be one lane of traffic in each direction with a bike/jogging lane added in each direction. This is similar to what is in place between Breezy Point and Roxbury. If you have ever ridden your bike on the boulevard and felt two cars coming up behind you, you either went up on the sidewalk or held on for you life. This has always been a dangerous situation.
I have lived here most of my life and can’t recall a traffic jam in this area. In addition, there are plenty of alternatives. Two lanes in each direction on Beach Channel Drive, one lane in each direction on Newport, and one lane heading downtown on Cronston should be more than enough choices for drivers.
With the controversy of ticketing bike riders on the boardwalk, we are not left with many options. The combination of the center malls and the addition of a bicycle/jogging lane would add to the beauty and, more importantly, safety in Belle Harbor and Neponsit.
Well, that’s my "crazy" idea for the week. I will add a few more over the next few weeks. In the meantime, don’t forget to clean up after your dog.
The Lights Go On?
Can anyone tell the people living between Beach 74 street and Beach 80 Streets along Shore Front Parkway, when the streetlights will be functioning again? Is the city waiting for someone to get seriously injured before they do something? And if it isn’t the city’s responsibility, whose is it? They have been out since the July 4 holiday weekend, if not before.