2004-07-16 / Letters


Coach Kerchman

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter to let all of Rockaway know that I have bought Mike Steinberg's book, "Still Pitching." I have also introduced this book to my children Karen and Barbara, both students at Far Rockaway High School. They loved the book and Mike did a great job.

However, being a coach throughout his years at Far Rock, I have to put myself in that position of correcting him. Although he's a very important part of our championship teams, I was still the coach, then and again. I must correct a few mistakes - not many, but a few.

Number one - my name is spelled Kerchman, not Kirschman, If Steinberg was in of my World History classes, I showed them a map of the Baltic Sea, with the Kerch Strait, Kerch Peninsula and the city of Kerch. My father came from there as an eight year old with his uncle, and at Ellis Island they gave him the name Kerchman. He had no other identification.

Number two - in his book, he placed me in Europe freeing some of the Jewish people at Auschwitz. I served in China/Burma/India (CBI) flying the hump (the Himalayas) as all aerial engineers.

Number three - Leon Cholakis played with Ernie Davis, not Jim Brown. Jim was there earlier. Davis died I believe of cancer in his second year as a pro.

I can't tell how I feel about all of this. I have been getting letters from old ball players and friends. I would love to talk to Mike, but the computer age has passed me by. I live near Toms River, NJ. My phone number is 1-732-657-5372. I will gladly talk to all the kids who played ball for me at F.R.H.S. 1951-1984.

As I write this letter, tears come to my eyes. I just met with the class of 1954 (first unbeaten football team, 1953 players were there.) It was a wonderful feeling seeing all these kids in their 60's.

I am thinking about all of you in my heart.


Don't Dis Squidward

To the Editor:

I take umbrage at Mr. O'Brien's comparing that fine gentleman, I mean gentlesquid, Squidward to Mayor Bloomberg. Mr. O'Brien even had the audacity to call the mayor 'Mayor Squidward.' Surely Mr. O'Brien knows that, unlike the mayor, Squidward is neither a politician nor does he have the power to affect the kindly citizens of Bikini Bottom. Squidward is a hard-working cashier in the Krusty Krab and, with his co-worker, SpongeBob Squarepants, tries to please the Krusty Krab's clientele. Yes, Squidward may be a bit testy, but he is far from being the nemesis of SpongeBob. He just wants to be left alone to live his life. If anything our mayor comes closer to Plankton, another character who screws things up.  

   I think that Mr. O'Brien owes an apology not only to Squidward, but to SpongeBob and the good citizens of Bikini Bottom.


Likes Beach Rules

Dear Editor:

From reading the July 2 edition, it would be easy to assume that all of Rockaway is up in arms about the
beach rules.  Well, I'm not.  I like it just the way it is.  It seems to me, especially when I take a look at Rockaway demographics, that a small portion of the population is upset by the beach rules. 

Since the vast majority of Rockaway's population does not live
west of the subway bridge, I'd like to see more in the Wave about what the rest of the community thinks and
what the position and comments of the other Councilman are.


Brown's Does It All

Dear Editor,

Yesterday must have been my lucky day, I found a parking space on Beach 116 Street, right near "Browns Hardware."

As homeowners, we find ourselves in that store every weekend. They have everything and if they don't have it, they'll get it for you.

Service and help you can't find anywhere else! To top that there were two women from "Brown's" planting flowers, adding soil and a small fence around the center island trees between Newport Avenue and the Boulevard. It looks great! Now if we can get the Sanitation Department to clean the Parking Spaces, our shopping area will be more inviting than ever before. We need this Democratic stronghold to get more for our taxes. The Republicans are coming!


Simon Fixes Sewer Problem

Dear Editor,

After year of frustration, being transferred from one City agency to another, out of desperation we called Democratic Leader Lew Simon. There was a non-functioning sewer on Beach Channel Drive that flooded for days half way across the drive. Lew realized the flood was a serious problem, especially when frozen, and immediately went to work.

To our great surprise within days a crew arrived and almost entirely eliminated this potentially dangerous situation.

We all, residents and drivers owe Lew Simon a big Thank You for all his efforts.


Theatre In Fort Tilden

Dear Editor,

You must go to The Post Theatre in Fort Tilden to see the Rockaway Theatre Company's production of The King And I. Each year, the RTC gets better and better and their musical interpretations of Broadway hit shows are outstanding. Last year it was Fiddler On The Roof and this year The King And I.

The production is directed by John Gilleece who is also the artistic director of the RTC. Many kudos to John and his board for the extraordinary effort they put forth each year.

The cast is headed by "The King" of course, in the person of Rob Fahn. Rob just struts around the stage and you can visualize Yul Brynner. Rob has all the presence needed for The King.

Anna, the English teacher brought to Siam to teach the King's many children is played by Nancy Storges who is beautiful and has a magnificent voice, as does Tuptim, who is acted by Shuweh Hsieh.

The rest of the cast are wonderful, from the many wives of The King to his many children who are all decked out in beautiful oriental pajamas.

There is an old Broadway saying that if a reviewer has to talk about the scenery, the play isn't so great. In this case, the scenery is perfect as are all the oriental decorations hanging from the ceiling. You feel that you are in the palace.

Call the RTC and make your reservations to see this great show. They are playing weekends through July 24. You will not be disappointed.


Wants Democratic Team

Dear Editor of The Wave:

Finally, a team I believe we can rely on to bring the United States back to safety and sanity.

President and Vice President elect Kerry/Edwards, believe in middle class America having their voice heard. Yesterday (Tuesday), John Kerry picked John Edwards as his running mate.  I feel its very important for the Rockaway residents to unite on Election day this November, to vote for these two men to help bring back our country to some form of sanity and safety that we've lost over the last four years and to help us earn back our respect as a country that is truly fair and DEMOCRATIC.

John Edwards shares John Kerry's vision of the future for this country which includes: creating good and decent paying jobs for all Americans; the commitment to provide better and affordable health care that is accessible to all; bringing down the costs of prescription drugs, especially for those who have no insurance; helping Americans feel safe and safer from terrorism and helping the U.S. gain their respect back from around the world. 

John Edwards understands these issues as he is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Committee investigating 9/11.

We, as a community, suffered the losses of 9/11 and American flight 587. We suffered and we survived, because we came together as we always do, supported one another through our grief and prayed together no matter what our religious beliefs are.

It's now time to bring about change.  The type of change that only a community can make happen.  

We need to vote with our hearts and our minds, not our political orientation.  I plan to vote for John Kerry and John Edwards because I believe that they will bring us forward to a better place. I ask that you do the same thing come November.


Out Of Control Officers

Dear Editor,

Independence Day turned into the arrival of Nazi Storm Troopers (NYPD) on Beach 17 Street.

On Sunday, July 4, everybody was enjoying the day barbecuing, playing ball and playing on the beach. It reminded me of the 1960's when I grew up in the Rockaways when families used to come to the beach.

Then, all of a sudden, we saw the police officers gathering.

I am a quadriplegic. My wife helped me down to the sand with other people. A police jeep showed up to tell us to get off the sand. I told them that it took me half an hour to get to that spot because of my spinal injury. They still told me to get off the sand.

Police vans, jeeps, cars and scooters came up with bright lights to start herding people off the boardwalk like cattle. The people were only eating and watching the fireworks from Atlantic Beach.

The police van got right on top of a family with six children and told them to move.

In our case, we told everybody to meet us outside the park near the bleachers. We pulled up over there and I started to get out of the car so I could get in a position that was more comfortable. An officer on a scooter and another one in a patrol car that was parked the wrong way and blocking one and a half lanes of traffic also chased everybody off of Seagirt Boulevard.

I have lived in Rockaway for more than forty years and ran the 101 Precinct Youth in Action. I was a board member of the 101 Precinct Community Council. I saw many Fourth of Julys on Beach 17 Street and never saw the police officers of the 101 Precinct act like Nazi Storm Troopers. All the police officers I knew that worked in the 101 Precinct were polite and had common sense, discretion and valor.

My two kids, aged 8 and 9 were never scared of police officers until July 4, 2004.


Wave Vexes Like Mosquito

Dear Editor,

Thanks finally for getting in the story about the early mosquito of May 12th (p.31, 6/25). As explained Dr. Mahmood of NYC Department of Health identified it as Aedes vexans with a positive of West Nile Virus in New Jersey in 2004. So it can be a carrier. The one mailed to her was dead so could not be tested for the virus. She also said it has not yet been tested in the lab to determine whether it actually can transmit it. A public health issue should be accurately reported, and Jim Cafaro is the local parks chief and hopefully will complete filling in the trench at Dubos Park by the end of June or early July.


Treat The Flag With Respect

Dear Editor,

Please reprint the flag code as it was on page 5 of the June 15, 1991 Wave issue, on a suitable page for framing. This should be done annually.

There are people in my neighborhood who fly the flag all day and all night with no illumination or at anytime regardless of the weather.

I have seen it back to back with another nation's flag on the same clasp, although this was corrected after several people voiced their objections.

There is one family who was told in advance by myself and at least one other person of the proper protocol for Memorial Day. Their flag was, as usual, left up all night (it was raining) and because no one got up before noon it was not appropriately lowered to half-mast.

I hope that if you can reprint the code they will read and follow it. I will personally deliver it to them.


Parking Issue

Dear Editor,

(The following letter was sent to Jonathan Gaska, District Manager of Community Board 14.)

The members of the Rockaway Park Homeowners & Residents Association were very upset to learn, that at the last community board meeting a select few spoke on the "street parking" issue as if they represented Rockaway Park. We were also very disappointed that we, the largest Rockaway Park association, were not invited.

May I respectfully request that we be informed of any and all meetings concerning the "street parking" issue in the future. It would be a shame if a select few ill-motivated individuals, without ties to the community, create local policies and procedures affecting us all.

You may find it helpful to utilize our newsletter when informing the community on different issues.


New Restaurant In Town

Dear Editor;

This past Saturday evening a large group of us wanted to go out to dinner.  It was a beautiful day so we preferred to eat outdoors, however, we realized our choices in the area were limited.  In reading The Wave we noticed an ad for a new restaurant on the water in Broad Channel, "The Bayview". Could you imagine our surprise, we could actually have drinks and dine outside on the water? We were excited about the thought so the group of 14 agreed to try the new place.

Cheers to "The Bayview" in Broad Channel for finally taking advantage of our area's waterfront and providing a lovely atmosphere, brand new deck, and good, friendly service.  It has only been open 3 weeks so there are still minor problems, but all in all we enjoyed it.  Just wanted to say Thank You for realizing what this area needed and I wish you much success.


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