Support For Cashin
I am writing this letter in support of Dr. Cashin and Region 5 in their efforts to change the Rockaway schools. As a parent of a child in third grade at PS 114 I am happy and excited that we finally have a Regional Superintendent who truly cares about all the children of Rockaway and their education.
I would like to address Wajeedah Anderson-Beyah, a member of MS 180's School Leadership Team, who was quoted as saying "they want the color line back to what it used to be, and 114 is tired of putting their babies on buses to Brooklyn." Ms. Anderson-Beyah, I have a child in Archbishop Molloy High School, who rides the bus and train for over an hour, I also have a child in Mark Twain Middle School who gets on the bus at 6:50 a.m. every morning that I pay $180 a month for. Putting my child on a bus for a good education does not scare me, what does scare me is that parents think that children's reading scores at 22% is acceptable and referring to MS 180 as one of the best middle schools on the Peninsula, that scares me.
This is not about color or politics; this is about having choices, not only for PS 114 children but for ALL the children of Rockaway. Doesn't every parent want a safe, nurturing environment where academically minded children that take school seriously, regardless of their color or creed can go to school and LEARN. Rockaway parents, let's not miss the boat on this one, the time has finally come, Dr. Cashin can make this work.
Cashin Should Get Real
I am writing this letter to urge PS 114 parents and Dr. Cashin to "Get Real".
Parents of PS 114, how would you feel if Dr. Cashin said "Parents I want to meet with you 20 at a time to present a plan to "phase out" all of the children in your building to bring in only the kids who meet my criteria for admission. Closing future admission to any students currently feeding in and only accepting the children I want."
How would you feel? How would you feel if not one member of The Cashin team ever bothered to respond to your questions or wishes for a meeting?
What the parents of MS 180 and PS 225 have done, is that we have constructed a plan of inclusive education and we have vowed to work to the end to ensure equitable education for all of our children.
We, as parents, feel slighted, cheated, violated, angry and sad. Our children feel confused, hopeless, insecure, uncertain and afraid.
Do not think that it has been lost on us that this plan was fast tracked by Cashin at test time either.
Be advised it is a new day in The Rockaways and we as parents for the first time in 30 years are standing up and saying "NO."
Power Outages on Beach 98Dear Editor,
I am a fairly new resident of Rockaway Park (2 years), and I love it out here. The reason I am writing this to you is because my lights just came back on at about 8:30 pm after being out for about 2 hours. When they went out, I tried calling LIPA, and all I got was the typical automated system, so I tried the 100 Precinct, who told me it was a transformer problem. At about the same time, I heard about four or five fire-trucks flying up Rockaway Freeway. I assumed they were once again heading towards the transformer station on 108 Street and Beach Channel Drive.
I, as well as my neighbors here on 98 Street, would like to know why, with all of the new houses being built out here, does LIPA have such a major problem with this transformer station. I figured as the "voice of Rockaway", maybe you (The Wave), could get more insight into this problem, because, in the 2 plus years I am living here, we have, on this block alone, (aside from the big blackout in August) lost our power a minimum of at least 6 times, sometimes for a couple of minutes, other times for hours (last Christmas night comes to mind.) Thank you in advance for any response you can get from LIPA, to see what they are doing to rectify this situation.
The disastrous end of Flight 587 has touched many but consider this: if that plane had been able to stay aloft for two minutes longer, it would have then crashed in the Atlantic Ocean. Had this happened, would the Dominican families have insisted that the ocean be drained in order to provide a space for the memorial to be placed in the exact spot where the family members died?
Rockaway and Belle Harbor are residential communities. While we understand grief, it is not a one-sided emotion. Memories in our hearts are just as important as the location of the cause of death. Let us all get on with our lives.
MARGARET C. KUGEL
Looking For Publicity
I think those Duane Reade people will be getting free advertising any time the 911 Tribute park is used for ceremonies or photographs are taken by visitors. That may be why they need such a large sign.
What a shame that even if not for that reason advertising has to block the scenic views of the bay. Lucky nothing like that has happened on the beach side (yet).
Treat The Flag Well
As I drive around our wonderful community, I am glad to see the American flag flying high and proud over our homes and businesses. However, some of the flags I see are in deporable condition. As a Vietnam veteran and a member of Post 1582 of the Inwood Veterans of Foreign Wars, I would respectfully request you inspect our national symbol on a regular basis. Any flag in less than good condition (i.e.: dirty, torn or tattered) should be replaced with a new one. The old ones should be disposed of properly, preferably by burning. Never throw it in the trash!
Our national emblem is a symbol of this great country, our heritage and our place in the world. We owe reverence and respect to our grand old flag as it represents the highest ideals of individual liberty, justice and equal opportunity for all.
If you contact your local veteran's organizations, they will be more than happy to take care of disposing of your old flag in a dignified manner. On behalf of all veterans, especially those who have paid the ultimate price for freedom, I humbly thank each and every one of you for your attention to this matter.
I also want to take this opportunity to invite all military veterans to reach out to their local veterans organizations and play a vital role in community service and pride.
ALBERT R. HINKEN
Take Care Of The Flag!Dear Editor,
We would like to draw attention to the plight of Rockaway's many street flags as winter again approaches. People are responsible for the flags on their homes and businesses, and most of these appear to be respectfully maintained.
But the street flags don't seem to belong to anyone. They are becoming torn, frayed and faded. Some get caught upside down by the wind, most are not lighted during nighttime hours, and all are exposed to rain and snow. These flags were placed on the streets to show patriotism and support for our country during a difficult time. They express a beautiful sentiment, and they deserve to be treated with respect throughout their working lifetimes.
We don't know if anyone is officially responsible for maintaining these flags, but we'd like to suggest that people in the community take responsibility for them. Residents who live near a street flag might bring it indoors to protect it from the bad weather. If the flag is damaged and no longer usable, the American Legion and the Boy Scouts of America have programs to properly retire them from service. Both organizations have local chapters, which would probably be willing to help.
Rockaway winters are harsh, and another one is almost here. Now is the time to think about these flags and what they mean to our neighborhood, and to take steps to protect them for the future.
Duane Reade - What Gives?Dear Editor,
I am a subscriber to your paper. Two weeks ago I wrote a short letter praising St. John's Episcopal Hospital for the great care a family member receive there. Needless to say, it never appeared in your paper. I have brought pictures from St. Camillus where my children appeared they never made it in.
Yet, if Duane Reade turns on it's lights or does one thing someone may not agree with--you can be sure it will get printed along side a picture right smack in the middle of your paper.
It's getting OLD!
I, for one am very happy that Duane Reade moved and improved the eyesore that was there before it. The store looks beautiful, it carries everything and it's open all the time. The Pharmacists and Pharmacy Techs are very knowledgeable and helpful.
I am so tired of reading all the negative, never one positive, comment about Duane Reade. It sounds loud and clear like a personal issue.
In this new year, please find something else to talk about. Does someone from the Wave sit outside of Duane Reade with a notebook and a camera? Why not look down on Beach 116th Street I think you could find plenty to write about. Good and not so good. The Wave sounds very tired!
I am sure that this letter will not make it into your paper. I have had the experience before.
City Must Follow Own Rules
The following letter was written to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg:
Dear Mayor Bloomberg,
The new construction in our area is not in compliance with New York City's Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP), which is the city's principal coastal zone management tool. It establishes the city's legally enforceable policies for development and use of waterfront and provides the framework for evaluating consistency of all discretionary actions in the coastal zone with those principals.
The WRP is authorized under the state's Coastal Management Program that stems from the federal Coastal Zone Management Act. Congress enacted this Coastal Zone Management Act as a national land and water use plan among federal and state and local governments. Once the WRP is approved by the New York State Department of State and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce it becomes law and the federal provisions apply to New York's coastal zone boundary.
One of the priorities established in this national land and water use plan by New York State is to provide, protect and maintain public access to the water-related recreational facilities or resources. One particular water-related resource is the public beach described in New York State Coastal Management Program Policy 19 and 20.
The city adopted the 44 NYS Coastal Management Policies and refined them for New York with additional 10 Policies. According to the New WRP "...a determination of the project's consistency with the legally enforceable policies and intent of the WRP must be made before the project moves forward". The term "enforceable policy" means State policies which are legally binding through constitutional provisions, laws, regulations, land use plans, ordinances, or judicial or administrative decisions, by which a State exerts control over private and public land and water uses and natural resources in the coastal zone CZMA Title 16 1453 (6 a).
All home construction with pre-approved mortgages with the Federal Housing Administration is also required to complete a CAF and do a detailed environmental review as required by the FHA as a contractual partner with the developer. The city is acting in partnership with the federal government and the federal provisions for actions within the coastal zone boundary impose the same responsibilities on the city and developer for compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Act and relevant environmental provisions pursuant to NEPA: The public access issue and neighborhood character and its' adjoining uses.
If a pre-partnership regulatory scheme is in the government's best interest, it is equally in the interest of the developer to do a detailed environmental impact statement. Also if a municipality is acting in partnership with the federal government there is a substantive obligation imposed by NEPA 42 U.S.C. 4321 on local government to protect the environment. Apart from the practical advantages of regulations in the pre-commitment stage, there would seem to be strong legal underpinnings, if not actual mandate, Congress has "direct[ed] that, to the fullest extent possible the policies, regulations, and pubic laws of the United States shall be interpreted and administered in accordance with the policies set forth in [NEPA]" 42 U.S.C. 4332.
In the 2001-2005 Section 309 Combined Assessment and Strategy Report completed by New York State, it states that New York will continue its efforts to expand public access opportunities throughout the state. Through the special management area plans, a variety of critical coastal issues will be addressed, including protection and restoration of natural areas and revitalization of urban waterfronts and working harbors. New York will maintain its focus on managing cumulative and secondary impacts through a variety of means, including a preparation of special management area plans.
There is not only significant gaps that hinder New York's ability to address programmatic objectives for development and public access, but also a complete disregard to comply with the implementation of the legally enforceable policies of New York City's Waterfront Revitalization Program by the Department of City Planning Waterfront and Open Space Division and the New York City Department of Buildings.
Unfortunately for the Rockaway's the Strategies and Assessments Programmatic Objectives, the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor recreation Plan (SCORP) and Management for PUBLIC ACCESS to public beaches which should be increasingly focused around improved public access are not being followed. The Combined Strategies and Assessment states; while the demand for public access to the waterfront continues to increase, the opportunities to satisfy this demand are affected by the costs of developing new access or acquiring new sites, by municipal residency requirements, and lack of understanding or hesitation by local governments to use the powers they possess to obtain public access interest.
The objectives identified in Strategy 4 Preparation of Special Management
Area Plans have not been followed for the LWRP, which is to be based on community interest in public access. Specifically with redevelopment of the urban waterfront which identifies strategies for the expansion for water-dependent business and recreation, increased public access and improved environmental quality and improved management and stewardship of communities entire waterfront area and coastal resources through comprehensive land and water use plans.
I will send this information to the Assistant Administrator's at NOAA and the U.S. Attorney General for an investigation of the entire program for violations of public access and development policies and also recommend that the State's eligibility for future funding for a section 309 grant be suspended for at least one year pursuant to 15 CFR 923.121 (3) (c) for non-adherence to the Section 309 Grant Strategies for 2001-2005.
I look forward to your reply.