Thinks of Rockaway
Jim and I just read The Wave, Jan uary 23 issue, as we receive the paper in Florida. We are delighted to read that the RCJC has been revitalized under the leadership of Gerald ine Chapey Jr.
My late husband, Jerry and I were members for years. When we return to N.Y., Jim and I look forward to joining this very worthwhile council. In fact, my son, Michael Dever, won The Brotherhood Award many years ago. I remember how proud Jerry and I were that our son was receiving special recognition from the RCJC.
Jim and I read that the street naming for James Conway Sullivan will be held on February 28.
Please let the Sullivan clan know that we will be there in spirit. In fact, this is the first year in my life that I will not be at the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Rockaway. Jim and I will go to Naples for the parade on March 17 with friends from Marco Island.
We're enjoying our time as "Snow birds" at The Villages in Central Or lando. We're taking golf lessons and look forward to playing golf at Riis Park in the spring.
My twin sister, Sr. Peggy Tully, will be visiting to celebrate our 61st birthdays. I'm blessed to have a wonderful loving identical twin sister!
Every time I wear my Rockaway Beach cap, which I bought at The Gift is Love, I'm stopped by people who spend their summers in Rockaway. They share their memories and are delighted to hear about the new Rockaway. When our snowbird fri ends return to N.Y., we have invited them to a tour with us past Fitz gerald's, Playland, and the new Arverne-By-The-Sea.
Jim and I are enjoying our new life and our new love. We still consider ourselves Newlyweds! And we are thankful to God for all his blessings! Regards to our friends in Rockaway.
MARY DEVER KELLY
Jones Must Go!
As a community member, I want to applaud Lennon Joseph, a senior at Far Rockaway High School, who had the courage to speak against the presence of police officers invading his school in The Wave Letter to the Editor published on 1/16/04. The police presence is in response to failed leadership and behavior management of the school during the past three years by the principal, Cheryll Jones. Yes, I want to applaud him for saying that problem of the school should not rest only on the students but also on certain teachers and especially Jones, who was supposed to be the instructional leader of the school. However, this "leader" is not even visible throughout the school day in the hallways or in the classroom! Many students wonder if she is in the building at all! If she is, her presence has not been felt by the students like Lennon Joseph.
As that young man said in his letter to The Wave, "where is the principal?" Cheryll Jones has been Principal of Far Rockaway Hish School for three years and the school has been declining since her arrival. The student's academic performance has declined and the disruptive behavior has escalated despite the assistance she has been receiving from her assistant principals, deans and various members within the school. However, how much can her coworkers accomplish if their leader, Ms. Jones, herself is not visible in the hallways providing them with support and exhibiting her leadership?
Since Principal Jones has arrived at the Far Rockaway High School she has not once reached out to the community. Now that she is in dire need for their help, however, she beckons for their assistance not on the students' behalf but for her personal need! Many parents and community members have learned that she is afraid of being removed as principal in response to her poor performance as the leader of the school for the past three years. As a result of her inapt qualifications as a school instructional leader, we have learned from a qualified source that Far Rockaway High School is in immediate danger of becoming a SURR (School Under Registered Review) school due to its low academic performance.
Ms. Jones should have followed in the footsteps of her predecessor, Principal Thomas Cunningham, who from the beginning had reached out to the entire community and had turned the school around in two years. Indeed, in his second year as principal he was given merit pay for improving the student's performance and for the discipline at the school. He was never afraid to talk to the students, staff and parents and was visible throughout the school grounds. Un like Mr. Cunning ham, Ms. Jones had the advantage from the beginning (due to Mr. Cunninghams's hard work) to create a closer relationship with the students, parents and the community. She has, however, allow ed the school to get out of control and to become a possible SURR school and one of the most dangerous in the city. The New York City Dep art ment of Education should monitor Jones' lack of of leadership qualities and reevaluate her job performance over the past three years.
Jones is definitely not the person who can resolve the school's problems (which she has created). Three year ago, she received a school that was reformed by Thomas Cunningham who is not the principal of a prestigious high school (Townsend Harris). Instead of building up on the school's reformed foundation, she has allow ed it to deteriorate and to become the police state that it has turned to today.
(The following letter was sent to NYC Department of Sanitation Com missioner John J. Doherty.)
Please explain why the large lot was strip-mined and garbage-strewn material replaced without any explanation. There are no court orders for access to the land and there is a need to explain how a city agency, like the Sanitation Department, can actually trash property without explanation. I was threatened with arrest for pointing out the problems and even taking down plate numbers. One truck driver (name available upon request) act ual ly was driving a truck without rear or front plates.
I have been harassed without any reason for trying to make a Sanit ation Department a better agency. Please explain the behavior of your agency.
No Such Place
On Friday, February18, I called the city's 311 number to report that the three street lights on the median of Beach 102 between Rockaway Beach Blvd. and Shore Front Parkway have not worked in at least two months.A0 A nice woman took down my information regarding the location of the outage.A0
She looked up Queens, then Rock away and asked the streets involved.A0 She was fine with Beach 102 Street, but when I said Shore Front Park way, she said there was no listing for such a street!A0 She asked me for an other cross street and I said Rock away Beach Blvd. and she said that was OK.A0 Now I realize why these lights haven't been fixed, I guess they figure that they don't exist.A0 She ask ed if I would give my name and add ress and I said ok. Now I told her to listen very carefully because my address is on Shore Front Parkway in care of the Twi light Zone. Thirty years and I've been living on a street that doesn't exist. Can anyone help me, I'm such a lonely guy......
Sullivan Was The Parade
For 28 years or more, James Con way Sullivan WAS the Queens Coun ty Saint Patrick's Day Parade. When he left us, we were all stunned.
The parade itself will always be his memorial but we felt that we needed something more. It would be a good idea to name a street after him so that instead of a one-day memorial, we would have one for the entire year. Our veteran indefatigable petition getter, Lew Simon prepared one and set out to complete the process.A0 Of course, he did not do this alone. Many others contributed time and effort or possibly only signatures. There were hearings at Commun ity Board 14 where Lew, and others of Jimmy's friends spoke to the idea. It passed.
This week, there will be a public naming of Rockaway Beach Boule vard and B.104 Street, where the reviewing stand of his parade is usually placed, will see the formal naming of HIS Street for all to see, now,A0and in the years to come.
SARA S. BERGER
Letters Are Speculation
Much has been written in the past three weeks about the mall on the boulevard and The Wave has done an ad mirable job of printing diverse views, including its editor's own view.A0 Un fortun ately, every letter and the editorials seem to rely only on speculation... rents will 'likely' fall, parking on the 200 block will 'probably' inc rease, etc. It might be time to in ject one indisputable fact into the con tro versy; and then speculate anew.
If one searches geographically there is NOT ONE community within a 100 mile radius of New York City in which a decrease in parking space has resulted in a decrease in property values or rental prices! Not one.A0 Home prices and rentals vary in verse ly with availability of parking. Put simply, less parking results in higher home prices and higher rent als. Now that may seem count er-in tuitive, but economists have actually explained this year's ago.
With exclusivity a commodity be comes a 'Giffen' good. People pay more for it. Cut the price of Rolls Royces and people actually will buy more Bentleys instead. As the peninsula becomes more exclusive - less parking, less access from afar - the prices rise. Check out Atlantic and Lido beaches, Greenwich, Hewlett Harbor...they figured this out twenty, thirty, forty years ago. Houses in Belle Harbor and Rockaway Park are about to enter the realm of the Giffen Good. The mall was simply a sign: Welcome to the New Rockaway.
Yes, it will create havoc and un doubtedly short term ill will. Three and four family homes will find parking far more difficult, but five years from now many will be come one and two family homes, out of necessity. Total rental incomes will rise, maintenance costs will head down. People will move here, not to drive the boulevard, but to simply to stroll it and be near the beach. Their demand will turn from parking to restaurants and fast access to the city. Exclusive shops will inevitably follow and the halfway houses willA0 sell off to condos as their property values make their current use silly and unprofitable by comparison. The foolish and unsightly 'A' train should be torn down in favor of free transfer Ex press buses linked to Broad Channel. Can you imagine the rush to build on that enormous strip of property called the Rockaway Freeway?
The only things that probably will not change are the ratty schools we're saddled with. Even Park Slope in Brooklyn, where no brownstone is less than a million dollars and parking is horrendous cannot seem to create a safe neighborhood high school. Maybe that's what we should be turn ing our attention to...hmmm.
Parking Drives Business Out
The merchants of Beach 116 Street should wake up. Between the parking meters (which should have never been installed) and the no parking curbside, plus the enormous amount of rent that they must be paying, it's a wonder they are able to keep their heads above water.
But, on the bright side, at least for the children, there is really a Santa Claus. He is the big jolly man in blue, instead of red, on Beach 116 Street. If you are very good, he will give a you a $45 ticket instead. Now you ask85.how may I get one of these tickets? Just stop your car for a split second to buy a newspaper - but before doing that - spot Santa and talk with him before he even begins to write out his good wishes for you. So much for being fair and just to the residents of the neighborhood. It is enough to drive business away from the area.
THE MCLAUGHLIN FAMILY
No Friend Of Ours
I recently had the honor of attending a fundraiser for the upcoming St. Patrick's Day Parade at Anton's in Queens Village. While I was pleased to see the level of support from all the local politicians that this event commands in our community, I was a little surprised to see committee chair Michael Benn introduce and praise City Council Speaker Gifford Miller as a "friend of Rockaway." Council Speaker Miller is of those who took the lead in raising our property taxes, along with the mayor, in order to close a citywide budget deficit that only exists because the city can't figure out how to live within its means. Instead of cutting spending and making government more efficient, politicians like Mr. Miller prefer to balance the budget on the backs of taxpayers and to keep right on spending without regards to cost/effectiveness and efficiency. Now Gifford Miller is being talked about as a Democratic challenger for mayor. Given the fact that neither Mr. Miller nor the present incumbent has demonstrated a sincere commitment to spending reductions and government rationalization, it looks like it will be just another six of once, half a dozen of the other scenarios.
A friend of Rockaway? It takes more to be our friend than showing up at some functions and hobnobbing with the locals over dinner. A true friend doesn't dun his constituents or stick them with a bill for wasteful spending and government inefficiency. A true friend looks out for his buddies in stead of picking their pockets. When government officials start living up to this responsibility, then they'll de serve to be called our friends. Until then, it should suffice just to note that they showed up for a dinner and some photo ops. I wonder who Mr. Benn would consider an enemy, if he refers to Miller as a friend.
My Deepest ThanksDear Editor,
To my friends and neighbors on the four hundred blocks of Beach 126 and Beach 127: thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every one of you who came to my aid or assisted me on Saturday, February 21. My heartfelt gratitude to all; whether you provided a towel, ice, water or information. It just underscores the level of compassion and concern you have.
A special thank you to my neighbor Randy, for being an extraordinary human being. I'd also like to extend my gratitude to the police officers of the 100 Precinct, the EMT, Peninsula Hospital, postal inspectors and my supervisor Charles Norris who all assisted me.
RICK, YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD MAILMAN
Far Rockaway Postal Service
I am writing to complain about the Far Rockaway Post Office at Mott Avenue.
I am 90 years old and cannot get to the Post Office. When they have a package they give a pink slip. When you try to reach them by phone, they never answer.
After I finally reached them, they told me they could not find the package. This is the third time they lost it.
What service are we receiving for our money?