2004-02-06 / Letters



Schwach Must Apologize!

Dear Editor,

I read with dismay Howard Schwach's article in last week's Wave. On the one hand I was glad to see him explain who Father Coughlin was so that readers could understand why he should not have been selected as an outstanding Irish American.

However, Mr. Schwach's diatribe against the younger Geraldine Chap ey was nasty and completely wrong. When I read her column last week, I called her and asked if she knew anything about Father Cough lin. She said she didn't and only knew what the essay stated. I explained who he was and why he was such a poor choice as an outstanding Irish personality. She was shocked and very disturbed and told me she would get back to me. When she did, she mentioned that she had spoken to a number of her friends, both Jewish and non-Jewish, and to the principal and the teacher of the child's school. No one knew who he was. She felt terrible and told me that she was going to write a letter immediately to The Wave, commenting on what she had learned from me, Rabbi Allan Blaine and others. Her letter appeared in last week's issue.

If Mr. Schwach had just written that she, her mother and Dr. Hoatson should have been more thorough and checked Father Coughlin's biography themselves, I would accept his opinion. But to castigate her and to bring in her political aspirations was mean and unnecessary. Whatever she chooses to do in life is really none of his business. The article he wrote was supposed to be about misinformation and to enlighten the public about Father Coughlin.

Geraldine Chapey is not "assiduously courting" the Jewish community. She is a true friend and a real leader in the community. She does not owe anyone an apology. I think Howard Schwach owes Dr. Chapey an apology for his inflammatory article.


Improving Peninsula Relations

Dear Editor,

I found the "Editor's Desk" very interesting and enlightening. I agree with the second paragraph. "More people have been killed throughout history in the name of religion and it continues today throughout the world. Cooperation is good and the reopening of the RCJC by Geraldine Chapey and others is a positive event for Rockaway."

I also believe that the editor's readers are now more aware that Father Charles Coughlin on his radio program during the late 1930's express ed sympathy and support for Nazism and Hitler and had violent anti-Semitic diatribes. In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, Coughlin had embarrassed the Church so badly that his Bishop ordered him to stop all political activities. However, in the United States at that time there were people who believed as Father Coughlin.

As the editor stated, sometimes history over time is distorted, reinvented and misleading by persons with political agendas. Since many years have passed, Charles Coughlin may have faded from the radar screen of human memory. However, there are always others to take his place. Bigotry and hate will be around as long as humans exist on this planet. The land area that is encompassed by CB#14 is ripe for an aggressive effort on behalf of brotherhood between people of different religions, races, ethnic groups and economic backgrounds. The Rockaway Catholic Jewish Council is needed to help promote brotherhood and respect for people of different beliefs and backgrounds.

My friend, Geraldine Chapey, has the energy and intelligence to help improve the quality of life for senior citizens with Trinity services and to foster brotherhood in adults and children through RCJC. Geraldine and her mother have always shown empathy for people of different races and religions.

I believe what Geraldine wrote in her January 30 letter to the editor. I wish her well in working to revitalize the RCJC to be an active and potent force to attack and overcome bigotry and hatred when and where possible. The Wave must join in this never-ending struggle.


Arverne Outrage

Dear Editor,

(This is the fourth in a four-part series, reporting the testimony of Stephen Wohl to the Federal Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Man age ment, a division of "NOAA," the National Oceanic and Atmos pheric Administration. NOAA is charged with determining whether any proposed ocean-contiguous development is consistent with sound coastal resource management practices. Wohl has little hope that high appointees of George W. Bush will act in the public interest, but sees a possibility that some job-protected professional civil servants may refuse to approve the indefensible. Wohl is a world/local environmentalist, an ardent anti-fascist, and a chaos-mathematics engineer/programmer.)

A principal reason why the land-grab by friends of Rudolph Giuliani cannot be permitted to proceed in volves Shore Front Parkway (SFP). That road, as it now exists, is a beach-servicing road, not a thoroughfare. It gives access to the beach to those who arrive in Rockaway by car or by special buses, allowing families to be dropped off (along with blankets, boogie boards, sand pails, etc.) generally within or near the SFP drop-off, isolated-lane indentations, built with neighboring lightning-protective concrete "wave" structures (recently artistically beautified), while the arriving car or bus is park ed in public free spaces such as are found between Beach 94 and Beach 95 Street. SFP also allows access to the residences on its north side. But SFP does not provide a through-path from one end of the peninsula to the other; SFP comes to a dead end at Beach 108 Street, and another dead end at Beach 73 Street. Through traffic on the Peninsula uses (1) Beach Channel Drive, (2) Rockaway Free way, or (3) Rockaway Beach Boule vard/Edgemere Boulevard.

Because - but only because - SFP does not carry through-traffic, New York City (with assistance from the New Deal's WPA) was able to build playgrounds, handball courts, basketball courts, chess/checker tables, roller-skating rinks, water fountains, sitting benches, etc. all along the entire length of SFP's southern beach-facing side. On occasion, sometimes for months at a time, the 3 southern most lanes of SFP, between the grass median and the aforesaid play areas, have been closed to introduce additional recreational opportunities, such as roller-blading, roller-skating, skateboarding, toy car driving, baby carriage strolling, jog ging/running and lane-limited bicycling. Art displays, music performances, and dancing have also graced SFP's edges, invariably bringing delight to young and old alike.

The land thieves propose to break open the eastern end of Shore Front Parkway at Beach 73 Street and extend SFP along the Boardwalk to meet Seagirt Boulevard and thence the Nassau Expressway/Atlantic Beach Bridge. They would create a thoroughfare where none now exists, turning SFP effectively into a bypass to the clogged Belt Parkway. The Belt Parkway skirting the northern side of Jamaica Bay, SFP skirting the southern side, en route from the Verrazano Bridge/Coney Island to Long Island.

Don't be fooled by the relatively narrow initial width of the proposed extension of SFP: that is the camel's nose, the wedge that opens the way for the new, ever expanding traffic flow parallel to the Boardwalk.

The NYC Department of Parks held ceremonies dedicating "Father McGee Playground", at Beach 82 and Shore Front Parkway, on the morning of Thursday 30 October 2003. Are we going to have to undo that dedication, because kids cannot access and romp within a playground on the edge of a highway/thoroughfare? Are we going to have to tell our older citizens, who live in the Rockaways in great numbers, that they can no long er get with their slow paces and their walkers to their beloved Board walk and sitting areas because SFP is no longer the sleepy road they have become accustomed to (and, for longtime residents, have grown up with), but has been turned over to traffic-movement rather than local access purposes to suit the demands of the robbers of Arverne?

[The strip of land immediately north of the Boardwalk would be come more essential for barrier dunes, for vegetation, and for a flyway if the natural condition further inland were lost. East of Beach 73 Street, currently existing Edgemere Boulevard and Rockaway Beach Boulevard lie as close as it is proper for any traffic-bearing road to app roach to the Boardwalk. An east/west artery should not be laid closer.]

Another no, no, not so fast: one of the crucial east-west passageways on the skinny Rockaway Peninsula is the Rockaway Freeway, some lanes of which run under the elevated A train (formerly the Long Island Railroad, Rockaway Branch.) Be cause the land thieves would like to pack as many cheeseboxes as possible into Arverne, they would like to shift as much parking requirement as possible off the Arverne acreage and onto adjacent territory. Can anyone believe the magnitude of corruption of an NYC administration that not only is ready to give away the public's 208 acres, but is also ready to sacrifice the designed traffic capacity of Rockaway Freeway in order to provide additional parking spaces contiguous to heisted Arverne?

A key figure in the Arverne embezzlement is the former Congressman from western Rockaway, the currently senior Senator from New York, Mr. Charles Schumer. As I have written elsewhere, Schumer is literally working for his personal landlord, and not for us. Details upon request. Here suffice to say that because the robbers' most difficult obstacles involve traffic/road matters, they assigned the resolution of those obstacles to servant Schumer. Schumer's (partial) payment is the appointment by Republican Giuliani of supposed-Democrat Schumer's wife as NYC Commissioner of Transportation, continued by Republican Michael Bloomberg.

What does Schumer's wife have to do to clear the obstacles and complete the service to the land thieves? (1) Break open the Beach 73 Street dead end of Shore Front Parkway, and create the new east-west thoroughfare/Belt Parkway Bypass discussed above; (2) donate, in addition to the free 308 oceanfront acres of Arverne, the right-of-way of the Rockaway Freeway for the parking purposes dictated by the land thieves; and (3) de-map the dozens of streets within Arverne on which the thieves want to plant cheeseboxes, a direct violation of at least U.S. Coastal Management law, if not NY State and NY City law.

The cheesebox jungle contemplated by the land thieves has no connection whatsoever with the Ocean. The vast majority of their 4000-8000 modular units would have no view of any water. Beach access and ocean vistas for the general public would be decreased, not increased, and would therefore contravene the law you are sworn to uphold. This cheesebox jungdle could just as easily be dropped onto an arbitrary 308 acres anywhere (if adjacent free parking areas are thrown in), and the plans would not have to change. There is only one remaining expanse of beachfront still available to upcoming generations of New Yorkers, and Arverne is it. You (and we) dare not squander these unique acres on unimaginative, privately-profiteering nonsense.

I have not yet heard word of the on-site tour by NOAA officials that was part of your plans, and without which your review - and therefore a Federal OK - is not complete. I volunteer to assist any such tour that you schedule.

The sole power that conscientious civil servants have in the face of total corruption is the power to delay. Therefore force delay and delay and delay, until times change (as they can in the blink of an eye), and until striving for all people's well being and happiness returns to American high places.


Cashin Is Manipulative

Dear Editor:

This letter is in response to the article in the January 30 edition on Cash in's Scholars Acad emy. First I would like to commend Dr. Cashin on her ability to completely manipulate almost the entire parent al population of the Rockaway Penin sula with her plan for "academic improvement" of our schools.

After reading the article in which she addressed the parents of PS 114, I became more concerned than ever on her plans for "academic improvement" for the Rockaway schools. The time to act is now, the question is who will benefit from her existing plan? Certainly not "ALL" of the children of the Rockaways, her existing plan still has so many flaws that once again leave out an entire socio-economic group of children and parents. Shame on you Dr. Cashin!

As a member of the Parents Assoc-ia tion of MS 180Q I pose the below concerns and openly welcome any intelligent, honest and open minded person who is in support of Dr. Cashin's plan to answer them via e-mail to PA180Q@hotmail.com...

If the ALPS program moves to Beach Channel High School in September, what are the plans for the space that will become available?

If PS 183 and PS 225 become K-8 schools will the transition be gradual? I.E. 2004-05 K-6, 2005-06 K-7, etc. or is this going to be an immediate shift with no adjustment period for parents and children?

Is PS 114 still slated to become a K-8?

If Principal O'Connell becomes Principal of the Scholars Academy at 105 and 114 and eventually MS 180, does this mean the original plan to make MS 180 an annex to PS 114 still in the works?

Under the current plan where will the 6th grade class for MS 180 next year come from and is the UFT President in agreement with the displacement of all the 6th grade teachers from MS 180?

What will the long-term effects of this plan truly be, not just academically, but also economically and socially?

Will opportunities will be provided to K-5 students in all of the Rock away schools to prepare them to apply to the "Scholars Academy"?

If you can offer such enriching programs, such as music, language arts and foreign language study to the "Scholars Academy" children why not to all of the children of the Rock aways?

Why are the children who get accepted to the "Scholars Academy" from 183 and 225 only going to be housed at PS 105, and the PS 114 students who get accepted to the "Scholars Academy" going to be the only students housed at 114?

Is this truly a zoning issue and wouldn't exceptions be allowed as changing PS 183 and 225 to K-8 will change the zoning?

Isn't the application process a test within itself?

To me, it sounds like the original plan with a one-year twist delay. To me it sounds like some promises made have been broken.


Opposes Parking Ban

The following letter was sent to City Councilman Joseph Addabbo in response to an article in last week's Wave:

Dear Councilman Addabbo:

I am writing to voice my opposition to the parking ban on Rockaway Beach Boulevard between Beach 126 Street and Beach 139 Street in Belle Harbor. This ban will create a major parking inconvenience for many Rockaway residents. More importantly, implementing this ban will create major safety issues for both pedestrians and motorists.

Since the new center mall was put up, it has significantly decreased the width of the East/West roadways of Rockaway Beach Boulevard. As anyone walking or driving the boulevard can attest, motorists currently speed excessively along this roadway. Creating a two-lane road on this stretch of the boulevard will create more opportunities for a tragic accident if cars attempt to pass each other in these small lanes. With the narrower lanes and large SUVs on the road today, creating two lanes on Rockaway Beach Boulevard is a disaster waiting to happen. A0

As far as the ban being a parking inconvenience for residents, it is relatively self-explanatory. Less parking for residents and visitors will create more congestion on the 200 and 400 blocks. Many residents (renters and homeowners alike) who live on the beach block or on the 200 blocks near the boulevard depend on street parking. In the summertime, when visitors come during the day and use the beach, it will create a disastrous parking condition in Belle Harbor. Side streets will be clogged with motorists stopping and looking for spaces. Beach blocks will be more congested with visitors who drop their belongings at the beach wall because they have to find spots further away from the boulevard. The average resident without a driveway will not be able to run a simple errand for fear they will have to park blocks away if they lose their parking space.

I urge you to reconsider the parking ban. Similar to the construction of the center mall, there does not seem to be a considerable benefit to Belle Harbor residents in eliminating parking on Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Our safety may in fact be in jeopardy by implementing the ban.

I thank you for your time and consideration.

If you would like to voice your opposition to eliminating parking on Rockaway Beach Boulevard, I urge you to write or call Councilman Addabbo. You may mail him at 92-03 Rockaway Beach Blvd. Rockaway Beach, New York 11694, fax him at (718) 318-6413, call him at (718) 318-6411, or e-mail him at addabbo@council.nyc.ny.us. A0Our safety and quality of life are both at stake.


Democrats Moving Left

Dear Editor,

In response to the ongoing "soap opera" between Tom Lynch and Nor man Silverman in your letters-to-the-editor section, I just wanted to add my two cents. I'm a registered Demo crat and have followed the recent debate closely. I note in the last response by Mr. Silverman that the issue has again come down to the matter of weapons of mass destruction, are there or aren't there?

I respectfully submit that that is a false issue. Certainly the administration made a case that such weapons existed. They believed they did and were in good company. Virtually everyone believed that the full panoply of Saddam Hussein's weapon ry had not been accounted for since the Gulf War. That Hussein failed to account for them, that he continued to conceal information and play a cat-and-mouse game with U.N. inspectors only reinforced the notion that he had something to hide. Whether he did or didn't have these weapons in the end, however, is not the point. What is the point is that he was a dangerous tyrant who deserved to be removed and should have been removed a long time ago for the good of the world.

The present Bush administration stepped up to the plate when previous administrations, including Bill Clint on's and the senior Bush's, had failed to. Sure it took the awful events of September 11, 2001 to galvanize this administration to action. But credit is due them for not avoiding the tough calls. Does Mr. Silverman think it would have been better to have left Saddam Hussein in place after all the damage he had done in the world? Does Mr. Silverman think the previous policies of investigation and prosecution, that this country had relied on when faced with terrorism, would have been sufficient in the face of the growing dangers coming out of the Middle East?

Mr. Silverman goes on to recite a litany of reasons why Democrats are better than Republicans and as a registered Democrat I have to say I have some sympathy with many of these. But the Democrats' unwillingness to stand up to the serious threats from abroad is, regrettably, not among these. I am disconcerted at the mealy-mouthed platitudes and unrelenting negativism now being directed against the present Republican administration by the current crop of Democratic hopefuls. Mr. Lynch's letter, which started the current debate here, noted his concern that local Democratic leaders had so quickly forgotten the courage of the current White House occupant after Sept ember 11, 2001 and that many of them were falling all over each other to embrace Howard Dean's shrill anti-war, anti-Bush rhetoric. In doing so, Lynch noted a pronounced leftward drift in today's Democratic Party.

I too sense that drift and feel only consternation and embarrassment when so many of New York City's Democratic politicians jump on the anti-Bush bandwagon. You don't have to be a Republican to believe a strong stand against terrorism and international outlawry is worth supporting. Hopefully members of my party will soon come to their senses and halt this stampede to the left which threatens to leave the rest of us moderate Democrats behind.


Plans for 149 Street Home?

Dear Editor,

What is happening to the Neponsit Nursing Home? What are the plans for that site? Will it be reopened as a nursing home, torn down or what? What is the secret? How about fixing up the building and opening it as a nursing home again or perhaps a school?


'How Soon We Forget'

Dear Editor,

It was only a few years ago that the communist system in Russia ended.

It started in Poland with Lech Walesa's Solidarity Union and a great contribution from the Polish Pope.

Then comes 9/11 and outside the American Embassy in Warsaw, there were thousands of flowers. The love for America was spontaneous.

In the war with Iraq, a whole international division was formed under Polish command. Some countries in the European Union were not happy with Poland's participation, but their love for America was greater.

Today we read in the newspapers that people from Poland, when they come to visit their relatives, must have their pictures and fingerprints taken. People from the countries that opposed us in Iraq come here without visas.


It's The Economy Index

Dear Editor:

First of all I would like to say that I am not an economist; I didn't' t go to Yale or any other prestigious university.

I am a "Q-man," a man from the street, a man with an inquisitive sense of learning. Lately something is bothering me a lot. It is the U.S.A. economy's index. With thousands and thousands of jobs lost to mergers and other corporations "finagling" the econo my's index is enjoying a prosperous rising. This doesn't make sense at all.

The reason for the merging, we are told, is to "cut expenses" but what they don't tell us is to energize profits, a bigger profit. On this basis, Wall Street is enjoying a prosperous index, an index that doesn't reflect the national economy. A corporation' s bigger profit at the expenses of the working people could and will spell a disaster.

The big corporations are enjoying a bigger profit for themselves and that is good for the economy and the country, but what about the thousands and thousands of people who have lost or are losing their jobs because of the merging?

Is that good for them also? Give me a break. Because of merging and "cutting expenses" (read cutting jobs)

I know someone losing hers. To console her, I told her she shouldn't despair, after all, it is good for the country and therefore it should be good for her also. She got infuriated. If you see me walking the street with sunglasses, you know the reason. Where is the end? I say cutting jobs and rising economy's index don't go together like horse and wagon.

If cutting jobs is good for the economy and the country, can you visualize if all the jobs were eliminated? We would have an economy boom; we would all be living in Heaven on Earth. Give me a break, I am chocking.

Besides cutting jobs through mergers, we now have another "dirty evasion of jobs" it is called "flying jobs".

Yes, jobs flying to Canada, to Ireland, to Nigeria, to China, to India and any place on Earth were they can find a way to cut jobs in the U.S.A or the benefit of the economy and the country, of course. For a while now, your insurance claim has been processed in Ireland; your telephone inquires in Canada. Do you want to know how many more weeks you have on your unemployment compensation? No problem, someone from Nigeria will tell you.

The list of companies practicing "flying jobs" is too long. To give you an idea, think of any company, the bigger the better, and you could bet your button, it is practicing it. This year your income tax will be processed in India.

Yes, you read it right, India. I always thought my social security number was sacred. Now my number is in India. (If I paid a balance due with my credit card, would my credit card number be there also?) Without malice and all respect for India, how long would it be that my social security number or credit card number is used for some maligned work? A couple nights ago, on "60 Minutes" an Indian was asked to give an opinion of the present practice, the man in charge of the operation said " It is good for the Indian economy and saves millions of dollars to IRS and therefore to the country. I would like to ask those responsible to tell the thousands and thousands of people who have lost or losing their jobs to this evil conceived "flying jobs excogitation" that the practice is good for the country and therefore it is good for them also. You would see many people walking the streets with sunglasses. This has to stop. Give America back to the American people.


Need's Wave's Help

Dear Editor:

Dear people of The Wave. My son, Anthony J. Rivera was born on October 14 1971, and was raised at 306 Beach 56 Street in Arverne.

He was a graduate of Franklin K. Lane high school in September of 1990, and joined the Marines right after that.

Just now, he called me to let me know that on February 15, he is leaving for Iraq. I know the only way to communicateA0with all his friends is through your paper. I just don't know any other way.A0Through the years, I have learned of the excellent service you provide to our community. That's why I'm asking for your help in this matter. My idea is toA0invite all his friends for dinner and a good-bye reunion.

Thank you very much forA0your help.


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