Don't Blame Addabbo
Rockaway has a history of getting the raw deal from City Hall and this issue with enforcement of Parks rules and regulations and beach access is just another example of the City's big wigs thumping their noses at our community.
In last week's edition, Howard Schwach reports that Parks officials claim they are enforcing rules more harshly in Rockaway than in other beachfront communities because of complaints from nearby residential dwellings. This doesn't make sense. For example, last summer most of the ticketing occurred in the Beach 90's, where the boardwalk and Shore Front Parkway separate the beach from residences.
The problem is that Parks Department and City honchos officially view Rockaway's beaches as residential in nature and Coney Island's beaches as commercial. This policy is ludicrous, since the beach is the lifeline of Rockaway's economy and key to further development of the Peninsula. Just invite Mayor Bloomberg and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe to Beach 116 Street on a Saturday or Sunday and they will witness with their own eyes the thousands of people from all parts of the City that flood the beach and shop at local stores.
If we are to rectify this matter before another summer season passes, then we need to focus our energies on bringing our complaints and concerns to the right government officials. It is wrong to fault Councilman Addabbo. The blame lies with the Bloomberg administration's attitude that Rockaway is not as important as other communities.
Every Rockaway resident and any person who enjoys the beach on our beautiful Peninsula should call the following City officials to complain about the abuse of power and restrictive rules that prevent all of us from enjoying Rockaway's greatest asset. They are: Deputy Mayor Marc Shaw, who is responsible for overseeing all of the operating agencies of the City and the delivery of public service - (212) 788-3137; Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris, who oversees and coordinates the operations of the Parks Department - (212) 788-2990; Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe - (212) 360-1305; and Deputy Parks Commissioner Liam Kavanagh - (212) 360-1307.
Let the Bloomberg administration hear Rockaway loud and clear: We want our beaches back!
Have To Get Active
The late great President Ronald Reagan once said: "Somewhere along the way people have decided to replace individual responsibility with laws."
Our once unfettered access to our once free beach has now been turned into a DMZ by the King Nanny Liberal himself: our Republican In Name Only Mayor, Mike Bloomberg. If you ask me, I think his real identity is Squirdward, SpongBob Squarepants' nemesis, neighbor and coworker at the Krusty Krab in Bikini Bottom. But that's another matter.
While there is plenty of blame to go around for the creation and growth
of the nanny-state that is being foisted on us, Mayor Squidward has really ran with the cause. While we have seen the unintended consequences of his public health crusade on the bar and restaurant industry, his major policy failure is not using his bully pulpit and bringing the City Council to a vote on tort reform, he abets the real perps: the trial lawyers.
As a student of history I have seen the damage social engineering can
do. FDR's New Deal extended the depression well into WWII. LBJ's Great Society was instrumental in the destruction of the black nuclear family. Activist judges making law in Brown v. Board of Ed. were the death knell of our once great public school system. The consequences of these failed policies and judicial radicalism were intended to create a target rich environment for litigation. So huge legal settlements can be awarded by brain dead jurors and activist judges that allow these cases to be heard in the first place for one reason only: To enrich the trial lawyers.
Now, while social programs embraced by liberals are used to buy votes, entrench power and keep the downtrodden down, the real reason for the crackdown on the beach is lack of tort reform and the lawsuits that clog up our legal system. You see, one of the biggest contributors to the DNC next to illegal contributions from unions, that godless, globalist crook George Soros, 527s like PETA and Move On.Org and other (501c3)s and the like, is from the slip and fall trial lawyers guild and their slew of frivolous lawsuits all stemming from people who don't want to take responsibility for their own actions.
"It's not my fault I smoked for 50 years and got lung cancer." "It's not my fault I ate fast food everyday and got fat." "It's not my fault I pointed a loaded gun at my teacher, pulled the trigger and shot and killed him." "My SUV drove itself into the crowded street corner and I just happened to be behind the wheel." How much more of this crap can we tolerate before the fabric of society begins to unravel?
Now, Bloomie takes it to a new level. Smoking is banned for everyone except for his upper East Side stogie cronies, who, also, get a pass when they sip wine and eat brie while listening to classical music in Central Park. But smoke a butt in the local pub or drink a beer on the beach and you'll have to hire a cadre of lawyers to fight all the desk appearance tickets you received from one of Bloomie's storm troopers in the Board of Health and Parks Enforcement.
You see, liberals, like Bloomie, believe there is a set of rules for him
and his gaggle, and a different set of rules for the rest of us. It's called elitism and it's the main characteristic of liberalism. So what can one infer from this paradigm of hypocrisy? Yes!
That's right: Not all hypocrites are liberals, but all liberals are hypocrites. So the liberal solution to the problem is to fix the result of the problem and not the problem itself. Thereby they have another fallback issue to campaign on. Close the beach. Ticket and harass the locals so they can't sue. Thanks Bloomie.
While pointing out the root cause of the problem is all good and well,
solutions are better. So here is what I propose: 1) Term Limits; simply put, entrenched politicians breed corruption. Put a referendum on the ballot and get rid of all of them on the local state and federal level and make politics a part time job beholden to the voter, not special interests, like our founding fathers intended. Funny, the 22nd Amendment would exempt President Bush from this edict since he can only serve 2 terms. Ha!
2) Elect like minded people who support less government and more freedom and will enact tort reform legislation and judges that interpret the law and not make it up along the way.
3) Write a disclaimer letter to the Parks Commissioner in duplicate with a S.A.S.A. So one signed copy can be mailed back to you whereby you and your estate waive any liability of the City for your actions on the beach and in the water. That worked well for me under the previous administration. If we flood the Arsenal with letters we can make a difference. Send to: Commissioner Benepe, The Arsenal, Central Park, 835 5th Ave., N.Y., NY 10021.
4) Get involved. Sitting on the sideline is how we got here in the first
place. It's like the analogy of the boiling frog. If you throw a frog in
boiling water, he'll jump out. Put him in cold water and turn the heat up slow and he boils before he knows it. Don't be that frog. Lead. Follow,
or get the hell out of the way.
5) Send Squidward back to Bikini Bottom. Enough already with his
nanny-state nasalisms. Once we get rid of him we can go to work on those
bottom feeding leaches in the City Council. Imagine the windfall to the
taxpayers if we make them get real jobs?
6) Dissent, Protest and Civil Disobedience. The latter being the last
resort. By voting we don't have to go there; so see # 4.
JAMES E. O'BRIEN
Yearbook Price Correction
I would like to clarify the wrong written in the Beachcomber of Friday, June 25, 2004. As the coordinator for the "Yearbook" of PS 114- your article needs to stand correction... the price for the yearbook was $15...
Originally the book was to be 112 pages for $15 but ended up being 168 pages for the same $15.
The children that came forward to their teacher(s) and/or myself saying that they could not afford the book were actually given a book... either the teacher paid or the yearbook committee paid...
The "yearbook" was not about making money... it was about capturing the smiles, the friendships and the works of the children of PS 114...
Furthermore, the "yearbook" was not just for the "graduating" class... it was made for every child in the school equally... from Pre K to 5th Grade...
So, to the parent that gave you the wrong information... they should have come forward and said they couldn't afford it because they would have not been turned away!!!
The Reagan Legacy
During my campaign for office, someone would ask me, "how come a young man like you is interested in politics?" The answer for me was simple - Ronald Reagan. In 1979, I was in St. Helen's grammar school when the Iran hostage crisis unfolded. I vividly remember, as a 12 year-old, the images on TV of American citizens being held hostage by this evil bearded man with a turban, named the Ayatollah. Americans were disheartened and frustrated. How could this be happening to our country?
In 1980, Ronald Reagan came along to the rescue in his cowboy hat, brimming with confidence. At the time many people thought America had seen her best days. The Reagan message was always clear; America's best days are ahead of us. Always steadfast and unwavering in his beliefs; a lasting peace can only be accomplished through strength, the way to revitalize the economy is to cut taxes and the size of the government must be reduced. In 1980 the American people heard Ronald Reagan's message, it was not the American people whose standard of living was too high, and it was the government that was living too well. Big government is the problem; the American people are the solution.
Let's look at the amazing record of the Reagan presidency. It began on Inauguration Day, 1981. As Ronald Reagan was being sworn in as the nation's 40th president, Iran released the hostages. What a coincidence!
President Reagan kept his promise and dramatically reduced the burden of the American taxpayer. The American economy exploded in the 1980's and the average American experienced a higher standard of living. What a coincidence!
In 1987, President Reagan visited Germany and made his unforgettable speech in front of the Berlin Wall. He challenged the Soviet leader, Secretary Gorbachev, to choose a path of freedom with these words, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." Shortly thereafter the Berlin Wall was knocked down. What a coincidence!
Increasing America's military strength was the cornerstone of the Reagan administration. President Reagan understood that America was in a Cold War with the Soviet Union and its communist allies since the end of World War II, and it was imperative for the future of freedom throughout the world for America to win the Cold War. The key to winning the Cold War was demonstrating to the Soviet Union that it could not compete with America's military, technology and economic power. That is exactly what the policies of the Reagan administration accomplished.
The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) is what iced the Cold War victory for the U.S.; the Soviets could never compete with SDI. President Reagan was steadfast that SDI would not be negotiable during arms reduction talks with the Soviets. When President Reagan and Secretary Gorbachev reached a nuclear arms reduction agreement, SDI was not compromised. Eventually, the Soviet Union fell and people would not have to live in a world where there was a possibility of nuclear annihilation. The Cold War was not won by coincidence; it was won because of the vision and leadership of President Reagan. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said it best, "Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without a shot being fired."
As America mourns the passing of President Reagan, let us also celebrate his great life and never forget his vision for America's future. Peace and prosperity, accomplished by a limited government allowing the talents of the American people to drive the economy - it's called capitalism. And the only thing that assures a lasting peace is a strong military defense.
We look to a future where the lion and lamb can peacefully lie down beside one another. Rest assured as long as we have leaders like Ronald Reagan, America will always be the lion.
LEADER 23 A.D.
HPD, the notorious New York City department whose highest officials have a nasty habit of retiring into the very corporation for which they have done enormous real estate and contracting favors while pushing legal papers in downtown Manhattan, has been attacking and terrorizing the 1100 families of Dayton Beach Park here in Rockaway.
You can right now see the initial phase of this terrorization in this stripping naked of half the 13-story 8100 Shore Front Parkway. In a bums' rush that involved killing the beautiful trees on the ocean side of 8100, all of the perfectly good bricks have been torn off the southern half of the building, from the ground to the roof, as a pretext under which new bricks can be trucked in and laid (by non-union workers) preliminary to massive and permanent rent multiplication against the tenants. HPD calls the shots at 8100.
This is the same HPD that is fronting for Rudolf Giuliani's City Hall and Michael Bloomberg's City Hall in trying to give away better-than-free the 1000 million dollars worth of public land, your land and my land, along two miles of oceanfront in Arverne and Edgemere to private profiteers.
The profiteers, in pushing their thousand of half-million-dollars- plus-pasted-together cheeseboxes onto the market, can extract the greatest price from each of the cheeseboxes if the surrounding neighborhood (Dayton/Ocean Village/Edgemere Housing) is high, high rent. Location, Location, Location. And so, happily for the land rip-off artists, HPD is creating excuse for forcing 8100 and all of Dayton Beach Park into high-rent status.
The following letter was delivered to HPD, to each member of the Board of Directors of Dayton Beach Park, and to the District Attorney of Queens County. Tenants want Cease-and-Desist and Show-Cause orders to be issued.
Already, in the midst of the odor emanating from the Dayton Attack, the daughter of Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer has resigned from the Presidency of the Board, lest her mother be tainted.
Ring The BellDear Editor:
Am I the only one having this problem?
I hear a motor start, and pull away. Looking outside, it was the U.P.S truck, or FedEx, or any of a number of package delivery vehicles we all see every day. I then look on the front porch, to find merchandise I ordered just sitting there, in plain view to the street.
Hey, I was home, waiting for that package. Why didn't they ring the bell, or knock? Someone could have walked away with stuff I paid for, and I wouldn't even have known I'd been victimized, until I call the store asking about my package, and get told that it was delivered.
I also have a back staircase, but I am not behind my house every day. I have found deliveries in now rain soaked packages, the products ruined.
I realize some packages do not need to be signed for, but just dump my stuff, and not let me know it's there?
While I've let the various agencies with which I do business know about the problems with their delivery people, the problems continue. If the delivery people wish to continue being, in essence, a subcontractor for the merchants, they have got to get their act together.
Flowers On Beach 116 Street
I would like to thank the staff of Brown's Hardware Store for planting flowers on Beach 116 Street. It's a burst of color and enhances the quality of life in Rockaway.
Thanks also to Dragon's Den, George's and Panda Box Florists for all their donations to beautify our community. Let's support our local florists.
MARY DEVER KELLY
Bowing Out, Gracefully
Just a short - after my lengthy pieces in the past - let me admit that the adversarial dialogue between Tom Lynch, Harold Paez and the undersigned has now reached the point of diminishing returns - certainly for the public and perhaps for each of us.
The sentiments on occasion may have verged towards acrimony, perhaps an indication of the intensity of feelings. I consider that a boon for our continuous search for synthesis.
It is apparent that neither of us will ever be convincing to the other. So, I will pursue other dimensions of my eventful life and leave the field open to others who may be waiting in the wings. I may even take Mr. Paez's admonition that I seek out the sun and relax. So be it!
My thanks to the Editor for his continued generosity in allowing the essays to appear. After all, it is only through such debate that some semblance of truth will start to emerge. For that I am profoundly grateful.
JESSE H. PLUTZER
Hillary Isn't Tired
No wonder Hillary wasn't too tired to show up at the Broad Channel ceremony on Friday night, June 11, 2004.
She and husband Billy Boy were caught on T.V. napping in the front pew of the Washington D.C. Cathedral during Ronald Reagan's funeral service.
All of America saw this!
(The following letter was sent to Sen-ator Hillary Clinton and was titled, "Broad Channel - A Little Hamlet, The Last In The City.")
Thank you very much for putting our town on the map and honoring the war dead last Wednesday.
I've been living her all my life - a total of 82 years - and my parents lived here before me. I have seen many changes and all for the better I must say.
When my Dad, Will, and his brothers, Arthur and Charles, built our house here, we were one of only three houses on the boulevard (Jamaica Bay Boulevard, now Cross Bay Boulevard).
Our house is right across the street from Hillebrand's Funeral Home, but they are not going to get me, because I am going to be cremated and my ashes thrown over Jamaica Bay, where I had all my good times.
Keep up the good work.
Farewell to A Good Friend
The Broad Channel Athletic Club will be hosting a farewell party to Mr. Martin Feeney and his family. Marty recently retired from the New York City Police Department and will be retiring to Florida. The BCAC and the Broad Channel Civic Association will be honoring Marty for all his years of community service on July 17, 2004 at the BCAC Memorial Field all our friends and neighbors from Broad Channel, Howard Beach and Rockaway are invited to attend. The farewell party will begin at 4:00 pm.
Over the years Marty has dedicated endless hours to many of the Broad Channel organizations such as: past president of the BCAC, past member of the BCVFD, past board of trustees for the Civic Association, president of the UCO, Athletic Director of all sports for the BCAC. Marty has also been involved in many Mardi Gras, BCAC Fundraisers, Beautification Day, Parks & Day Camp projects, Christmas Tree Lighting. The list is endless.
Come join us for a fun afternoon of music, food, drink, some laughs and some tears as we bid Marty and his family Good Luck in Florida!!!
BROAD CHANNEL ATHLETIC CLUB
Controversial CB 14 Appointments
Benjamin Franklin observed that democracy is two wolves and a sheep holding an election to decide what to have for dinner, and that liberty is a well-armed sheep vigorously contesting the election result.
The founders of this country did not fight a revolution against British tyranny for democracy. They fought the revolution for individual liberty. Democracy is merely the governmental form by which they sought to create to preserve individual liberty.
Thomas Paine, in Rights of Man, in describing the U.S. form of government says:
"...there is no such thing as the idea of a compact between the people on one side, and the government on the other. The compact was that of the people with each other. The compact was that of the people with each other, to produce and constitute a government.
Government is not a trade which any man or body of men has a right to set up and exercise for his own emolument, but is altogether a trust...It has of itself no right; they are altogether duties."
This brings us to Community Board 14. A community board is intended to be a body of people who represent the various groups, people and interests in the community. Their function is to advise the elected officials as to the community's views on various issued on which the elected officials must vote or act. This is "democracy." The democratic process is frustrated when the Community Board, is composed of representatives of the elected officials, instead of representatives of the community.
The Bayswater Civic Association represents the residents of Bayswater, and functions as a participatory democracy. It had two (2) of its Board members on Community Board 14, and they represented the interests of the Bayswater community on the Community Board. They were Gloria Warshofsky and Emanuel Fox. Both of them died during their terms. The Bayswater Community lost its voices on the Community Board.
Two of the Civic Association's board members, and the spouse of another of our board members submitted applications for appointment to the Community Board. Those applications had to obtain the approval of Councilman Sanders. Those applications were not considered by him, and he appointed two of his political supporters to the Community Board. They do not represent any part of the Bayswater community, but only represent Councilman Sanders. One of them does not even live in Bayswater. Sanders' excuse is that none of those applicants made an appointment for an interview. The straight answer is that Sanders never informed the applicants that they had to make an appointment for an interview. The fact is, that he does not want independent minds on the Community Board. He only wants his supporters who will contribute to his power base. This is how Democracy becomes perverted by office holders, and individual liberties become incrementally lost.
As we approach the Fourth of July, we should take out time for serious contemplation of why our revolution was fought, and how much individual liberty we have surrendered to governmental office holders since 1776, and how much of that loss is really necessary.
EDWARD R. RASKIN
Quality Of Life Issues
I am a long time resident of Belle Harbor (beach block). We are a low crime area thanks to our police. What our police force lacks, is to address the quality of life issues.
Many cars are parked illegally on the beach blocks. Why shouldn't they be given tickets?
Mayor Bloomberg wants to fight noise in New York. Nobody fights it in the Rockaways. If we call in about late night noise, we get no response.
MS 198 Fun Day
MS 198 celebrated its first annual "FUN DAY" on June 23, 2004. One of its sponsors was Sobel's Distributors Inc. Thanks to their generosity no one went thirsty. A good time was had by all.
Take Pride In FRHS
Far Rockaway High School celebrated its commencement for graduating seniors this past Friday. The guest speakers spoke eloquently, the bulbs flashed frequently, the teachers and administrators applauded, the students applauded back.
Perhaps because I did not grow up in Far Rockaway and I am new to this school. Perhaps because most of this year such display of enthusiasm has been absent from the Far Rockaway High School community. Perhaps because I am proud myself.. the commencement was a sight of gladness and a resounding celebration of the pride and enthusiasm and glory of Far Rockaway: the young, the parents, the old and wise, the community. These students (most) have spoken and written eloquently to inspire guest speakers to speak up to par. These students have worked hard to beam smiles brighter than flashes and these smiles cause parents and family to weep while applauding with zeal and pride. The parents are these children's biggest fans. No sports figure or team will ever realize this same gleam or excitement in the eyes of any fan.
I saw today parent and family proud, beaming children excited at crowds and balloons and music, teachers sad to see many of our best leave, happy to see many of our best leave so we may some day soon welcome them back. I saw beautiful young men and women eager to help shape a new, fragile, and uncertain world; a world better at having Far Rockaway students to contribute and lead, of this I am certain! Of this I am proud!
Surely we have room for improvement: teachers, students, parents alike can better partner, prepare, and communicate to form solid, creative solutions to our most pressing problems. Still, much has been accomplished and our students are proud, our parents and teachers are proud. In the U2 song titled: Pride: In the Name of Love Bono belts the lyrics: "In the name of love/What more?/In the name of love!" Far Rockaway remains a community often beleaguered by real problems, though demonized by those who have no confidence in their own, or our own abilities to help induce positive change. Far Rockaway has pride through love, through community, through family and sometimes this suffices. I rather think this is just the start, just the beginning of more greatness to come: a commencement of voices and laughter louder than any microphone amplification, smiles brighter than the flashes of camera bulbs.