2003-09-12 / Letters



Give Them Hell

Dear Editors;

Via the internet, I have been following this summers uncanny beach fiasco.  I began more than ten years ago to crusade for beach improvement.  My efforts were well documented here in The Wave as I photographed neglected, soiled beaches. Growing up in Far Rockaway since the sixties I watched the beautiful beaches of the Rockaway erode and become worse and worse due to alleged lack of funding but more so out of disrespect of one of mother natures finest accomplishments.  After many failed attempts I gave up and went south to enjoy the beautiful beaches on the Gulf coast of Florida. 

My point is, if it makes anyone feel better, I don't think there is a beach in the country from Long Beach to Miami to San Diego that permits alcohol.

While in some states the authorities may turn their heads if you pour a single can of beer into a paper cup, logic remains that drinking and ocean currents just don't mix, not to mention littering and obnoxious behavior.

My hopes and spirit are with the Rockaway community that with common sense, they can regain proper and safe use of the boardwalk and beaches.

More power to you!  Give 'em hell Rockaway!!


Remembers When

Dear Editor:

I read, with great interest, your 110th anniversary edition having been given a copy by our good friends (the Sangers) from Belle Harbor.

My first thought was: "Why didn't they ask me to write my recollections of the Rockaways as I grew up (the way Bub Kupper did in the anniversary edition)?"

My grandparents, Bernard and Alice Edelstein were married in March 1888 and lived in the Arverne-Hammels area where they owned a bakery. They had three children, Olga (Friedman), Clara (Wiener), and Edward. My mother, Olga, often told me stories of her childhood in Rockaway; the pony she owned, her education at PS 44 and the old FRHS as well as her parent's bakery where rolls were five cents for a baker's dozen. She recounted the story of my grandfather sending his employees out to Lake Ronkonkoma by sleigh (in the dead of winter) to cut blocks of ice from the lake and return to the ice house where the blocks were stored in straw for use in making ice cream in the summer.

My grandfather was a founder of the Rockaway Beach Hospital and Temple Israel in Hammels. After my grandfather passed on, my grandmother sold the bakery to Cushman's.

My mother married Leo Friedman in 1925 and I was born a second-generation "clam digger" along with my first cousins, Bernard and Frank Wiener and Betty and Edward Edelstein.  Your Jewish War Veteran's Post is named for Bernard who was killed in Italy during WWII.

We owned a house on Beach 128 street but soon moved to 138th street where I grew up.

Attending PS 114 (through the eighth grade), I remember many of my teachers (Babcock, Galenter, O'Connor, Kreisberg, Maloney (2), Buckley, Simon, Schlichter, Hemley, Gillespie, Kingsley, Walters, Mr. Schear, etc.) as well as principal Edna Badger and custodian Mr Hawkins.

I vividly remember the 1935 fire at St. Francis, Playland burning on  July 4, 1937 while the new Marine Parkway Bridge was being dedicated, freezing while skating at Riis Park, and growing up with pals Eddie Sanger, Arty Zraly, Sy Altman, Jules Rudolph, Eggie Schoone, Oscar Siegel, Don Felsenthal, Don Selz, Stan Hinden, Ted Feldman, Al Mirkin, Arnie Brophy, Marty Baff, and many, many more.

On to FRHS. the service, marriage to Marjorie Feldman from Far Rockaway, a career as a teacher and principal in Long Beach, NY, retirement, and a recent move from our home in Oceanside to a condo in Florida and a   summer home in Jackson, N.J.

We are grandparents of three boys and a girl (all grown) by our daughter Alice Kramer and our son, Dr. Richard.  The girl belongs to Richard.

We  read the WAVE when we visit the Sangers with the hope that  there will be something of interest from the "good old days".


Arverne Development Is Illegal

The following letter was sent to Helen Gitelson, the Director of Remediation and Special Projects for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

Dear Ms. Gletlson,

Pursuant to the City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR), Mayor's Executive Order 91 of 1997, CEQR Rules of Procedure of 1991 and the regulations Article 8 of the State Environmental Conservation Law, State Quality Environmental Review Act as found in 6 NYCRR Part 617: This Arverne Renewal Project is in violation of the public access requirements as most of the city-owned streets that were used as perpendicular access to waterfront and public beach will be eliminated.  According to the CEQR, SEQR and the State's Coastal Management Program and NYC New Waterfront Revitalization Program "existing public access" must be restored and maintained and shall not be reduced.

The Coastal Assessment Form (CAF) clearly states that if an action cannot be certified consistent with the above state policies "it shall not be undertaken."  The Arverne Urban Renewal project as presented with the elimination of many public access easements within a closed gated community cannot be certified consistent with the Public Access Policies 19 & 20 and WRP Policy 8 and cannot be approved.

Also any reference to the local waterfront zoning laws that restrict reviews of actions or proposed activities to the waterfront lot is also inconsistent with NYC and New York States federally approved coastal management program and cannot  be used in the Arverne project. The coastal management program reviews actions for the coastal zone boundary, which included the entire Rockaway Peninsula and is not restricted to the waterfront lot.

NYC's New Waterfront Revitalization Program is the city's principal coastal zone management tool that stems from the federal Coast Zone Management Act.

Any actions by federal, state or local government must concur with the federal objectives of the CZMA.  The CEQR MANUEL on page 3K-11 PART 500 states that; For example, a reduction in existing access or potential public access to or along the coastal waters would be inconsistent with the LWRP.  The Arverne project as stated above is inconsistent with the State's CMP. If this project cannot be certified consistent with the [L]WRP and CMP "it shall not be undertaken."

Pursuant to 15 CFR CH IX National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Commerce Part 923-Coastal Management Program Regulations Section 923.135 The Secretary of Commerce and NOAA are required to review actions for compliance with the program.

19 NYCRR Part 601.7, the Secretary of State shall review administration and implementation of every approved Local Government WRP to assure among other things, that the local government itself acts consistent with the goals of its approved LGWRP.

New York Administrative Code Article 19, Issuance of Permits 27-191; the approval of must comply with this code and other applicable laws and regulations, which include the coastal zone management program rules and regulations of the CMP and WRP.

I will be forwarding this letter to NOAA under U.S. Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of State to review for compliance and revise for compliance with the public access policies the Arverne Urban Renewal Project with the coastal management program.

This letter should be included as part of the Public Hearing for the Draft Environmental Statement for the Arverne project.


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