Time To Move On
As our parish and community have now hosted the second anniversary memorial for Flt.587, it is time to put this tragedy to rest. We need to let our neighbors rebuild their houses and get on with their lives. It is also very hard to allow our children to have any kind of closure from this tragic event when we march them out to participate in the memorial ceremony.
I realize that some of the surviving family members are saying that we are insensitive and prejudiced, and that is understandable. These people are hurting and have to lash out at someone. But let them know from someone who witnessed this tragic event first hand, the respect with which their family members were treated on that terrible day.
Should there be some kind of memorial? Of course there should, but not in the middle of our residential neighborhood. We have a prayer garden where they can be memorialized. We can add a site in our memorial park on Beach 116 Street. We can meet and come up with an ulterior site. We have read about an agreement between the city, community, and the families from a source close to the negotiations. First of all, it is none of the city's business. Secondly, who is speaking on the community's behalf? We should not wake up one morning and find a memorial that most of us were not approving of. Anyone interested should have some kind of input.
As a community we all want to see Beach 131 Street rebuilt, with some wonderful young families. We will always remember those who we lost on that fateful day and pray that they all rest in peace.
Nothing Amiss At Claddagh
To The Editor;
Unfortunately we feel that your readers were presented with an unfair picture of our operation at the Claddagh INN and the actions of our Director Tony Job.
I have personally been involved with the Claddagh INN for approximately four years and have come to know and respect Mr. Job. If more people were like Mr. Job with their time and compassion, ours would be a much better community.
I would like to take this opportunity to address some of the issues raised in your article.
It is true that we have our problems. We as many other charitable organizations, have been victims of the cutbacks in city support services over the past several years. For example, since 1999 we have not received any support from the city's Human Resource Administration (HRA) despite our numerous requests for aid. Prior to 1999, we regularly received support grants totaling well over $25,000 a year. While funding has been harder to acquire, the needs of our community have not ceased growing. This fact is clearly illustrated in the 30% increase in meals served over the past year. In order to continue to operate we have relied on the kindness of our community and our small ability to raise funds by selling some of our donated items.
The concept of selling donations to help defray the costs of operating of a charitable institution is not a new concept to the Claddagh or most other organizations. We regret that your headline implies that we have somehow held this as a secret. In fact we have been participating in this practice since at least September 2000 and have been very open about it to our members and the community. We ask that you refer to your September 23, 2000, edition of your newspaper to verify this fact.
In addition, your article implies that we have recently ended our relationship with the Interfaith Nutrition Network. In reality, this relationship ended in the late 1999 when the Network recommended that we cease operations. Due to the outstanding work of Mr. Job and our many dedicated volunteers, we were able to remain afloat as an independent operation and have served well over 300,000 meals since that time. In fact since August 2000 we have been officially incorporated as the Claddagh Inner-City Nutrition Network and have represented ourselves as such in your publication. In retrospect given the alternative of ceasing operations or continuing under another banner I believe that all who have benefited from the services provided at the Claddagh would agree that we made the right decision.
It is unfortunate that you have chosen to print the unsubstantiated personal accusations of Mr.'s Diallo, Carter and Cunningham. If anyone feels that our organization or any of our volunteers are involved in "illegal profiting", we request that you make your accusations know to the Queens District Attorney.
In order to clear our name and restore the damage to our reputation, we would welcome such an investigation. The results of which would clearly justify all the actions taken by Mr. Job in overseeing our operation.
The damage to Mr. Job and our organization is unfortunate. However, we will get through this and will continue to provide the necessary services to our community, with or without your support.
JOHN M. TIPALDO
PH.D, PE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
A Sad Day
Today was an extremely sad day. I watched construction workers take (or should I say rip) down the memorial to Flight 587. I am a resident of Beach 131 Street. For two years, I have gone by this spot every day to get to my home. Each time within my heart I would ask God to bless all the people that perished with this tragedy.
During the warm summer months, I would walk by and reread all the writings on the wall. It was so serene and calm there, but now it's nothing but construction workers and bulldozers.
I was extremely upset at a comment in last week's paper by a "Rockaway resident" who wanted to remain nameless concerning his or her mother dying in a hospital, and that he or she doesn't go to visit in that hospital." Here is the difference - You had a whole body to bury, some of these families had pieces of their loved ones to bury. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that a plane that size and the speed it came down would not leave too much of a full body after exploding and going on fire. All of these peoples last breath was here on this corner. Pieces of them were scattered everywhere.
I cringe every time I hear a plane fly over my home now. (Yes, they still fly up the middle of the block) I was on a plane that actually came right up and over the block. I could see my house, so much for not flying over Rockaway.
I am against the memorial being moved before another goes up. Why can't it be put up on the block at the ocean? The service was at Riis Park right after the tragedy and it was really nice just sitting facing the ocean and saying a prayer for these people.
I am so glad to see people that don't even live on the block voicing their opinions about not having a memorial on the block. I want to ask you...Were you there when it came down, did you see the terror on all your neighbor's faces? Did you have the big red "X" put on your door by the city showing that all members of the house were accounted for? Did a member of your family spend 12 hours digging out body parts until he could not do it anymore? Do you have nightmares about this day of tragedy?
I am tired of people forgetting about the souls that were lost. It seems that all they are concerned about is the value of their property. Walk by the spot and spend a minute or two you will feel the serenity. Houses should not be built on this site, it's wrong! I would not want to build and live in a house on the ground where over 200 souls perished.
I hope all of these people finally rest in peace some day and that a proper memorial is put up to remember each and every one of them.
ELIZABETH CORCORAN PINEIRO
I am a victimized and disabled senior citizen who is requesting help to secure his U.S. citizen and N.Y. state constitutional tenant's rights that have been violated.
As a United States citizen, I exercised my first and fourteenth amendments of the Constitution by organizing a petition drive for fellow residents of Roy Reuther Houses in Far Rockaway against rent increases in December 2000.
For the past three years I am forced to live with city code violations in my apartment, "living with rats, roaches, mice, peeling paint, non-functioning appliances, a broken floor, etc." as well as refused repairs and services which led to having NYC Housing Court force the building manager to fix the violations. The building service refuses to hold my USPS parcels, although it is available to all residents. My apartment door and mailbox still have the previous tenant's name and the manager refuses to change to my name. Due to the numerous violations, I have been forced to take legal actions against the manager five times within the past three years for a total of sixteen code violations. I have been told by the assistant manager that I do not have equal rights as other residents.
I am subjected to retaliatory unlawful landlord rent overcharges/illegal charges and fees. The manager has refused to cash my rent checks for July, August and September 2003 and then issued a "10 day termination of residence letter" and notice. Then the manager cashed all three checks and stopped pursuing all legal actions since he did not have a legal foundation. Recently, I have received a second unwarranted "10 day termination of residence letter" and again he stopped cashing the rent checks for October and November 2003 rent checks. The above two examples should be considered as an illegal method of intimidation of a senior citizen. In addition to these problems, from time to time, I am receiving false accusations letters against me. Despite all of the above-mentioned inconveniences, I never failed to pay the rent for my apartment.
I am subjected to emotional harassment that contributed to me having two heart attacks and surgical procedures on February 19 and April 11 of this year.
I do not have $20,000 to hire a lawyer to start civil legal actions against my building manager. Is moving the only option to secure my state and US citizen rights?
Mosquito Problem in Bay
At a time when the US Department of Commerce - through NOAA - is reviewing how the NYS Waterfront Revitalization Program brings about compliance with environmental protection and appropriate waterfront development policies (includes 308 acre Arverne/Edgemere renewal areas, and Jamaica Bay with its wetland island mystery). Some whales show up off the beach and a baby formula (Remedia) becomes toxic. And the sad memory of Flight 587 lingers on.
So how well have we been caretakers of the Almighty's Creation? Have we protected it? Have we loved our neighbors as our ourselves?
So harbor channel deepenings will introduce bigger areas for ships and more lethal collisions with whales (already in trouble with plastic bag blockagaes and illness from flesh contamination from industrial chemicals as well as naval sonar interference with their acoustic location communication.
As has been pointed out before Flight 587 adds up to "20", 9/11 adds up to "20" and the Jewish calendar year 5762 (2001) adds up to "20."
Its speculation but "2" in the twenties hints at the babies (fraternal twins) in the Womb of Rebekah (Jacob and Esau) who in these days are both contaminated by "materialism" (many descendents of both would sell their spiritual birthright for a bowl of lentil soup!)
So to love your neighbors as yourselves all Rockaway residents should unite to demand that the materialistic nonsense of the Dubos Point mosquito problem be remediated as a toxic batch of baby formula (toxic to both the descendents of Jacob and Esau.)
BERNARD J. BLUM
No Question On 587 Memorial
I don't see why there is controversy on this issue. A plane went down and almost 300 people lost their lives. I cannot help but think that if this flight was heading to Dublin, or to Tel Aviv there would not be a question about the appropriateness of a memorial in our neighborhood. I think that the fact that the overwhelming majority of victims were Latin presents an inability for some people to relate.
I overheard an elderly woman standing in line in my bank on 129 Street this afternoon. In expressing herself to a gentleman there, she said, "I don't think a memorial is a good idea. People just hold on to their pain. They should let it go, and get on with their lives". I was astonished to "overhear" that point of view, and even more surprised when the man she was talking to seemed to agree.
The fact that those who remain to bear the sorrow of their lost loved ones feel that this is the place they would like some sort of remembrance of that awful tragedy, is reason enough to find a spot for a marker.
The Good That Claddagh Does
I felt such shock and sorrow (and anger) when I read the front page article in The Wave (11/14) regarding The Claddagh Inn (Soup Kitchen) in Rockaway. No mention of all the good that's done - all the needy that's
served. That no one is ever turned away - no questions are ever asked. Someone comes in looking for food it is given.
That it's an overwhelming job, YES. That it's run perfectly NO, -that there are enough volunteers, NO - that there is enough money, NO - that there is any money given through city, state, or federal grants, NO.
That anybody is getting rich by giving his time (to a seemingly thankless job,) servicing the community that is in such need, NO. The Claddagh Inn is run solely on the contributions of the people. This Thanksgiving a dinner will be served. There is need for donations of food. There is need for volunteers to help serve it. It is a good opportunity for you to come and see for yourself all the good that is done. All are needed and welcome. It is our community and our sisters
and brothers in need.
Mind Your Children
My car was rifled! You who have children in your home, don't you see what they have? If you see a camera which never was around before, don't you ask where they got it?
Officials Neglect Rockaway
It seems to me that New York Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) officials and NY politicians enjoy abusing the elderly and poor in Rockaway. I feel that our elected officials have abandoned both the private homeowners and other US veterans in public housing. We may all lose our apartments, or private homes in the next few years. I personally believe that the incredibly thin housing materials used in the Arverne By The Sea development may be too thin to sustain high winds, or a major flood.
I am disturbed that in the September 12 issue of the Wave, there was an announcement about an Arverne By The Sea HPD hearing, which stated that HPD intended to ask for private and city property between 32 Street and 84 Street. I find this land takeover strategy an outrage. As a US veteran, I never imagined that a local or federal government agency would even think about throwing me and my family into the streets from a federal apartment just to please an aggressive domestic or foreign realtor. If other veterans, private homeowners or elderly residents in Rockaway do not believe that federal tax dollars should be used by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to pay for Arverne By The Sea, then please organize your community groups and send thousands of letter HUD and the NYC Land Use Planning Commission.
Why have a "Do Not Call List" to protect your private home from aggressive realtors in HUD and HPD are going to give your private property away to greedy realtors anyway? May God bless America, what's left of it that HUD has not already given away to the rest of the world.
Dog Catchers and Racism
I do believe we will find Jimmy Hoffa, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and there will be snow flurries in Hell before the Wave either reports on the black on white bias attacks which took place in Rockaway last month or before the Wave endorses a Republican for any office from dog catcher to president.
You break into someone's house and then you complain: "Hey, there are violent people in here! They are trying to physically throw me out! I am going to stay until I bring them under control." This is the mocking logic of a thug.
Fly The Flag Correctly
Have you ever wondered what flag is being flown beneath the "Stars and Stripes" at St. Francis de Sales Rectory? Well it's not the Papal flag or the Diocesan flag. It's the flag of the Dominican Republic!!!
Why, some would ask. Well the answer would surprise you. It is being flown to show respect for the victims of the plane crash, is the response from the clergy. Well respect it's not. According to Title 4, United States Code, Chapter 1. Section 7g, "When flags of two or more nations are displayed, they are to be flown from separate staffs of the same height. The flags should be of approximately equal size."
International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another in time of peace." So in due respect, lets lower the Dominican flag and erect another staff and fly it properly if we are so inclined to respect the victims of that terrible day. Otherwise we are not only violating the law, but are showing a sort of unknown disrespect for that country.
As a candidate for Congress last year, I expressed concerns about the expansion of Chicago's O'Hare Airport and the future effect of this expansion on the citizens of southeast Queens. At the time, I said this project was one of Congressman Meeks initiative to increase the volume of flights to JFK by an additional 2 million per year.
Meeks has made his position clear that his allegiance is not to the voters in the district he was elected to serve but to the airline moguls, most of which are major contributors to his financial war chest.
The southeast Queens communities suffer from the highest cases of asthma, tuberculosis, bronchitis and cancer than any other community in the city.
The southeast Queens communities, including the Rockaway's, has the highest on record unemployment and have yet to benefit any real paying job gains from the airport.
The recent air tragedy in Belle Harbor has left a void in the community trust and confidence of having to live in an active flight zone.
The noise is extremely unbearable at times to the ear.
Certainly if the airport is allowed to expand, either northbound or eastbound, the Editor's Desk of the Wave will be in effect.
If Congressman Meeks chooses to pursue these unfavorable community issues and not yield to the concerns of his constituents, then it will be time to remind the Congressman about his allegiance to the voters and his employers. And should he continue his disregard and disrespect for the community, he should be forced out during the election in 2004.
Thanks PS 114
Due to the progressive leadership at P.S. 114, particularly Principal Brian O'Connell, a "collaborative classroom" was implemented. I have a child in this wonderful classroom and I have seen a dramatic improvement in all areas.
My child is a more well-rounded individual because of this experience. The teachers, Ms. Brady and Ms. O'Sullivan are doing a superb job. Thank you!
Tree Removal on Drive
(The following letter was sent to Wave Environmental Columnists, Bernie Blum about the removal of trees on Beach 67 and Beach 68 street near Beach Channel Drive.)
Due to a much awaited and sorely needed Department of Design and Construction and Department of Environmental Protection sewer project, the Chinese and Siberian Elm trees (four total) are being removed. This project will alleviate the poor drainage system that has existed in the area for decades. The trees are in poor condition and will be replaced with new tress following the completion of the project. Many of the streets in the project will be widened between 10 and 20 feet, allowing the center medians to be enlisted in our Greenstreet program.
NYC Parks and Recreation takes a proactive approach to preserve trees during many construction projects throughout the city. We often transplant street and park trees to other streets or parks when project scopes requires tree removals. However, the aforementioned elms are in poor condition and have too large of a root base to transplant.