2004-07-30 / Letters


All letters submitted to The Wave, including those sent via e-mail, must contain names, addresses and phone numbers. All letters are subject to editing and publication at the discretion of the editors. The Wave will no longer publish letters in which the name is withheld, unless, in the opinion of the editorial board, there is a compelling public interest to do so.

What Doesn’t Re Understand?

Dear Editor;

After reading the letter from Professor Edward D. Re, published in the Wave’s 7/16/2004 edition, our initial reaction was surprise. It is public knowledge that Community Board 14 meets every 2nd. Tuesday of the month, except for summer recess. The Wave runs the dates for all meetings within each weeks edition. Our Coalition had raised sufficient funds from the Community, to run a full page in the Wave prior to the C.B. meeting, in order to inform all residents to attend, Mr. Peter Larkin and others took advantage of this opportunity to speak.

As President of the Rockaway Park Homeowners/and Resident Association and Vice President of Belle Harbor Property Owners Association (possibly two conflicting offices) it is surprising Professor Re is not aware of C.B. 14 meetings.

In defense of C.B. 14 and Manager Jonathan Gaska, invitations are not extended to the public. Elected officials are invited to these meeting

We were among the select few Professor Re referred too. I can assure Professor Re we were not select nor invited. Unfortunately the parking issue was not placed on the Agenda, however, we inquired and learned the C.B. is gracious in allowing 3 minutes of speaking time to anyone.

We would be very interested in inquiring what members of the R.P.H.R.A. were very upset to learn, we spoke at this meeting, since many who attended were Rockaway Park residents, who were in total agreement with us. As new dues paid members of this Civic Association we are anxiously waiting for an Association meeting. To our knowledge the R.P.H.R.A. has not had a meeting since March. Perhaps with more frequent meetings all members would have the opportunity to be better informed and be given the ability to express themselves.

Professor Re must recall at the last R.P.H.R.A. meeting in March the members did express their opinion. A vote was taken regarding “the parking issue”. A large majority of those in attendance voted to have the NO PARKING ANYTIME signs removed and replaced by our original parking restrictions.

We are in agreement with Professor Re that it would be a shame if a few ill-motivated individuals create local policies and procedures affecting us all. We are in favor of Democracy and all residents be given opportunity to express their desires and needs. To reach this goal our aim is to have the parking issue revisited through the proper procedure of the Community Board. The Transportation Committee will have already held their first meeting. To our understanding when C.B. 14 returns after their summer recess, the C.B. will hold a full meeting, which will include the recommendation of the Transportation Committee and again address this subject.

We are being accused of not having ties to the Community. Is this a code phrase? How does anyone interpret “ties to a community”? Might it mean living for an extended period of time within a community as a decent law abiding citizen? Could it mean someone who would be among the first to help a neighbor? Could it be attending meetings with others and working to improve your community, perhaps watching your child grow from the little one on a buggy board to the young man employed within the community while a student and his considering law enforcement for his future? Could it be sharing the pain and horror of 9/11 while looking across the bay or standing on the boardwalk seeing War ships across our waters or perhaps a barbecue with friends and neighbors during the beautiful Rockaway summer.

We imagine that there may be many ways to interrupt “ties to a community”. All of the above is our way of ties to our community; along with all the time and effort we have given the parking issue. There is no ill in our motivation only an honest desire to assist a large number of residents, for their needs and opinions to be considered.





Wanted To Support Bush

Dear Editor;

I read with surprise the minimal mention in the Beachcomber of the recent celebration for President

George W. Bush held by Republicans at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club on July 15th. You note that “it was unclear how many came to the event to back Bush and how many came to see Paulie Walnuts.”

For your information, I was in attendance and did not know in advance that an actor was scheduled to be there. In fact I learned afterwards that actor Tony Sirico, who plays the Paulie Walnuts character on The Sopranos, was a last minute addition. Those of us who went did so because of the opportunity to express our support for President Bush and to show solidarity with fellow Republicans in our community, not to hobnob with an actor. Personally, I have never even watched The Sopranos and wouldn’t know Mr. Walnuts if I tripped over him.

I am surprised that the Wave would even imply that people came for any other reason or try to diminish the significance of the huge crowd that showed up by suggesting it was for something other than what was stated by the organizers. It was announced, at the end of the evening by the way that well over a hundred people came and I am not at all surprised since it seemed like even more to me. The organizers also told us they had gotten more than 120 signatures on their letter of support for this president. I was proud to add my signature too.

Everyone knows that this community is predominantly Democratic. But that’s no reason to play down

Republican activities, especially when they are as newsworthy as the unexpectedly large turnout we had

for President Bush, and to do this just because this kind of news might actually help in some small way to

get him re-elected. It’s this kind of attitude of playing down Republican doings, especially as we approach a critical election, that makes it so hard for political competition to take hold out here.


Manhattan Rules Rockaway

Dear Editor,

  I don’t believe any beachgoer who protested the unthinking enforcement of Park Department rules last year expected we would be still dealing with the same problems this year. While the police have avoided unnecessary harassment the underlying problems remain.

  The two top officials who make Parks policy came from Manhattan, the only borough without beaches. The 2000 NYC Directory lists Adrian Benepe Commissioner and Liam Kavanagh as Deputy Chief of Operations. They run the Park Department and make beach policy today.

The Parks Department has “Administrators” who are given some discretion in managing their facilities. The Directory lists Administrators for Central Park (of course), Riverside Park, Battery Park, Flushing Meadow-Corona Park, Forest Park and even the Staten Island Greenbelt, but no Administrator for Rockaway Beach has been appointed.

The Parks Department has hired Enforcement Agents with little or no beach experience. I have seen an agent who couldn’t tell the difference between a mother washing out her child’s sand pail before leaving the beach from a potential swimmer violating the curfew.

  The Enforcement Agents have no ability or discretion to tell the difference between an experienced swimmer who is familiar with the currents, jetties and their own swimming ability and a first time visitor who may have no swimming ability and possibly was never in the ocean before.

Lifeguards are on duty on days when the weather is so poor few persons are on the beach, let alone in the water. On the other hand, lifeguards leave their posts exactly at 6 P.M. when many people are enjoying the best time of the day and others have just come home from work and want a short swim.

  Short-term solutions must be implemented immediately. Appoint a high level Parks Administrator with beach experience to supervise Rockaway Beach. Hire local residents with beach experience and the ability to explain ocean risks and perform rescues in an emergency to replace Parks Enforcement officers who are unfamiliar with swimming, beach customs and safe behavior.

Reduce the number of lifeguards on duty on days which are cool, cloudy or raining. Use these lifeguards to keep beaches protected to at least 8 P.M. on hot summer nights. Hire qualified lifeguards on a part time basis to cover uncovered beaches, especially during late afternoons and early evening hours. Retired lifeguards, firefighters, police officers and teachers may be available.

  Surfers add to safety on beaches as most, if not all, are excellent swimmers. Surfers, with their boards, have rescued many swimmers on beaches all over the world. Lifeguards should direct surfers to areas not crowded with swimmers.

Fish hooks and lines are not compatible with swimming. Fishing should be permitted in any area where no one is swimming.

Like some teachers I know who want to keep the class busy, Commissioner Benepe has demanded letters rather than petitions. I urge we humor him by swamping his office with letters. The address is The Arsenal, Central Park, New York NY 10021. The FAX number is (212) 360-1345 and (212)360-1FAX (1329). I suggest a copy should be sent to the WAVE.

Summer is short and we don’t want to waste another month with harassment and silly arguments. If we do not get results within one week, a conference should be called to form an association representing all interested in our beach and boardwalk. It could be initially sponsored by civic groups, the community board, political leaders or others in a position to do so.

The Central Park Conservancy, Friends of Van Cortlandt Park and Southern Queens Parks Association are examples of civic groups which help maintain the quality of the parks they are associated with and help to determine policy in that park. Such a group would keep us from the harassment we have had in the past few years.

  Swimming training has been sadly neglected by the city. When most city high schools had swimming pools and taught swimming to their students and opened the pools to the community, there were plenty of qualified lifeguards.

The Department of Education has failed to teach swimming or even water safety to our children. Pools must be kept in working order, open to students and the community. All new high schools must be built with swimming pools. Why should NYC be looking to hire foreign lifeguards when NYC youth are looking for summer jobs.

  While I have some philosophical reservations about this final idea, I pass it along to the mayor in the hope of attracting his attention to this letter and the need to properly open, protect and maintain our beaches and boardwalk. Naming rights and a sign indicating a company’s contribution to support beach and boardwalk maintenance and swimming education could be put up for bids. The backs of lifeguards’ swimsuits and ponchos could also be a source of revenue. I bet Snapple would be interested in the beach market.


Everything Is Wrong

This letter was sent to Queens Borough President Helen Marshall by the President of the Beach And Bungalow Association.

Dear Borough President Marshall,

The Beachside Bungalow Preservation Association (BBPA) has been involved with the Queens Borough Task Force since the early nineties and although Queens Borough President Claire Shulman recommended a zoning study be initiated to Joseph Rose, the Chair of City Planning at that time, no zoning study was undertaken.

The BBPA has met with John Young, Director of Queens City Planning to undertake a zoning preservation study for our area. The BBPA would appreciate a favorable recommendation from you to initiate this study.

In addition, and for you own information, the BBPA area is part of the Federal coastal zone boundary. NYC’s Waterfront Revitalization Program is the city’s principal coastal zone management tool and requires that all projects must be approved and certified consistent with the WRP and NY State’s Coastal Management Program Polices.

Our bungalow development has three private easement of rights-of-way on Beach 24, 25 and 26 Streets that must be protected and maintained under WRP Policy 8.1 and NY State’s Coastal Management Program (CMP) Public Access Policies 19 &20.

Also, the remaining bungalows are historic properties that have a tangible connection to Rockaway’s past generations, events and cultures associated with NYC’s waterfront and are protected under WRP Policy 10 B and NY State’s Development Policies 1 &6.

Once NYC’s Waterfront Revitalization Program is approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce for concurrence with all applicable state and federal laws pursuant to the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, it becomes law.

The Waterfronts Revitalization Program is listed in the CEQR Manuel as the Laws and Regulations that are to be followed for all projects in the federal coastal zone boundary. The WRP and CMP policies are legal and enforceable policies that are part of the legal framework the State’s work program and financial awards approved by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of Coastal Resource Management (NOAA/OCRM).

Any demolition of historic bungalows in our area and any elimination of “existing” public access areas as described in the WRP Policy 8; public streets and parks and easements on privately owned property would be out of the scope of any agency’s authority. This would include Wavecrest Gardens II, which City Planning approved under ULURP with “easement voided” lot 71, the site of this project, also the YOMA Development construction that obstructs a 17 foot easement to access the Atlantic Ocean, the Duane Reade Drugstore at Beach 116 Street and Beach Channel Drive, that obstructs a city-mapped public access to Jamaica Bay, and the Arverne Urban Renewal Project that will demolish 46 public streets to the waterfront and 10 park areas, that does not comply with the laws and regulations of the WRP and CMP.

NYC’s Memorandum of Understanding for Arverne that will reduce public access by 46 public streets and 10 parkland areas, is inconsistent with WRP Policy 8.1 and does not comply with the laws and regulations of the WRP or CMP.

The WRP and CMP are part of the legal framework that all agencies should adhere to for all projects in Rockaway, which is part of the federal coastal zone boundary. The Federal Financial awards approved by NOAA/OCRM is a legal instrument for the transfer of money and services to administer and implement the coastal programs which are for the specific public purpose of the CZMA statues P./L. 92-583, and not for the benefit of private developers, to the detriment of the public, with the obstruction of public access to the waterfront.

I hope you will follow the laws and regulations of the WRP and also support the BBPA by recommending a zoning study for our area.




Was Martha Set Up?

Dear Editor,

The sensational stock-related trial of 62-year-old Martha Stewart should present some interesting questions about Wall Street operations. Wall Street is one of the most envied financial centers of the world, but the cases against Martha Stewart and her friend Sam Waksal for selling their stock in ImClone (a drug company) was one of the greatest circus rides we’ll ever witness about stock sales. The strange credibility of witnesses and the bizarre events surrounding this case leads me personally to believe that this strong elderly tough, but successful white woman could have been setup by the “Old Boys Club” on Wall Street.

The first key witness was accused of frequent illegal drug use. The federal expert witness was later accused of being a liar. Another witness, suddenly, but sadly dies in the subway, just a few days after giving his testimony in court. And then, there is the action of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Why did they refuse to approve the ImClone anti-cancer drug, when Martha and Waksal had thousands of shares in ImClone which carried this drug? Why did the FDA suddenly approve the same anti-cancer drugs a few days after Martha was convicted, and after Waksal had already gone to jail for selling his stock? Who on Wall Street made great profits, when the stock price of ImClone went down to $5.00 a share, and then jumped to $70 a share? Was someone out to take over the majority stock in ImClone? Was somebody after Martha’s company, or was her downfall just a distraction? And what about all those so-called telephone records used in the trial? Since when did corporate giants give sensitive information on the telephone? Telephones are used in the corporate world, only to arrange meetings where sensitive information is given in person. Was someone trying to setup a paper trail leading to Martha? I can’t believe anything except that this trail was a case of “Pink Wall Street Smoke” rising all the way up to the FDA. I have not been a fan of the FDA, ever since they approved the use of synthetic hormones in cows, which also trails down to our babies milk – but that’s another story.

And just maybe someone was simply out to break this elderly fortress of a woman – the eminent Martha Stewart. Well, I hope those lousy slobs on Wall Street are proud of themselves for hurting Martha. They wanted to break her – and they did. Maybe she was not tough enough. Maybe her high heel shoes stepped on too many male toes.

Nonetheless, other recent court decisions have shown that it can be dangerous for a woman on Wall Street. And if Martha ever gets out of this, she had better watch her back with the Wall Street wolves. But don’t cry Martha. American women will support you. Fight your case. Don’t go to jail. You have suffered enough. Your company will rise again.



Oust Bush, Then Sue Him

Dear Editor,

I and the world

Want superfraud George W. Bush

And his fellow oil thieves

Brought to trial

As war criminals

For the mass murder

Of 30,000 Iraqis,

20,000 Afghans,

and 900 Americans.

I also ask each American family

Bereaved of a son or daughter

Or husband or wife

In Bush’s oil wars

To immediately sue George Bush


And his government

For wrongful death

In the amount of 2000 million dollars per family

Via jury justice from our peers.


Beach Restrictions

Dear Editor,

There’s a saying: “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”

I’ve decided to weigh in with the following information. It concerns our beach problem.

The other day, while waiting in a doctor’s office, I happened to glance at the magazine rack. On the front cover of the May 2004 issue of New York Magazine was an article entitled, “Mayor Bloomberg’s Beach Problem.”

Thinking that it had something to do with Rockaway, I read the article – and what I read was unbelievable. The article mentioned Orchard Beach, Coney Island and a bunch of lesser-known beaches.

It seems that there’s a lot of bacteria in the ocean surrounding New York City. The Federal Government, always looking out for our welfare, tests the waters on a periodic basis. They have certain acceptable standards concerning all the bacterium.

Up till now, it was safe to swim in the ocean at all the city beaches. But, as of May 31, 2004, the standard has been raised so that it is no longer safe to swim on the beaches. They all have to be closed – but as we all know – the beaches are open.

I wonder what kind of deal our mayor made with the feds, realizing he could kiss his chance of being reelected goodbye if he tried to close the beaches.

Is all the harassment, only allowing the beach and boardwalk to be used at certain times, worth it? There are no lifeguards on some beaches and new parking restrictions. Is this all a prelude to some sinister plan hatched by those idiots in Washington to deny us access to our beautiful beach?

It will never happen you say? Well, tell that to all the skilled unionized laborers who can’t get jobs because of outsourcing.


Where Have All

My Friends Gone?

Dear Editor,

I just sat down and felt like writing to someone, only to find, I have no one to write to. Do you ever have this problem? Read this and have a laugh on me.

You know what I do in the morning? I get up at 6:30 or 7 a.m. and feed the dogs and cats. I then throw them out of the house. I put the wash in the washer, have a bite to eat and hang the wash out to dry. Then I go back to bed.

I get up at 10 a.m. and have a glass of orange juice and a few vitamin pills to keep me going for the day. I’m off to the local senior center for lunch at come home at 1 or 1:30 p.m. I go back to bed and that’s my day.

They say a sense of humor is everything. That is one thing I have, plus an ulcer, a tumor, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a heart condition. Outside of that, I am in pretty good shape. I can hardly wait for tomorrow although there is not so much doing in our neck of the woods – the same old crap.

I walk to the local store and run into people I don’t know. There was a time when I knew everyone. I often wonder what happened to all my friends? Some moved away, others passed away but these are the facts of life.

So what have you been doing lately? Please let me know. As I have been at the same address across from Hildebrand’s Funeral Parlor for more than 82 years.

If any of you are still around, drop me line. I’m always glad to hear what you have to say.


Define Supervisor

Dear Editor,

I’m writing this letter on behalf of myself and fellow coworkers, the Rockaway Lifeguards.

I don’t understand how someone can be labeled a supervisor, when they don’t supervise the beach. I thought a beach supervisor supervises all of the areas in the beach’s seven miles.

If standing on the boardwalk in the same spot is the meaning of “beach supervisor”, that I guess the meaning I thought was wrong.

I understand that we are young, but we have an adult job and expect to be helped when we need help.


A Call to Kerry

Dear Editor,

The Democrat Party, the supposedly “Party of Diversity,” the “Party that looks like America,” has given us Kerry-Edwards, two rich white men.

What happened to Martin Luther’s DREAM?

How do they expect minorities to vote Democrat?

How long is it going to take before an African-American is allowed to run for Vice President?

Mr. Kerry, be brave enough to reconsider, DUMP Edwards and pick an African-American for Vice President!



Dear Editor,

Thank you to everybody who reacted so positively to the United States Postal Service choosing to “Celebrate the Rockaways” by unveiling a matted print with a special cachet including a cancellation date of August 11, 2004 saying “Rockaway Beach Jetty Station.”

I am truly pleased to be the first local artist chosen for this honor.

The presentation on the Beach 116 Street boardwalk August 11 at 11 a.m. will “help put Rockaway on the map,” according to postmaster George Buonocore.

Your support and words of encouragement were indeed heartwarming.

Thanks you.


Praying for Peace

Dear Editor,

As the grateful mother of recently returned soldiers form Iraq, the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) that I can “see” are the re-election of the Bush Cheney Team back into the White House!!! I am in total agreement with Representative Gregory Meeks that the Kerry Edwards ticket reflects our best hope of re-instating “hope, honor, openness, integrity, inclusiveness, and respect to the White House, and to America’s role in the world.” Let’s bring all our soldiers back and stop this foolishness overseas!!!


Thanks To Brown’s Hardware

Dear Editor;

Thank you to Browns Hardware, for so generously taking upon yourselves the very big task of planting the marigolds we see up and down Beach 116 Street.

Browns provided all the labor and every bit of the materials. They spent hours and days working on this project.

So please, if you see a bit of the sweet little white fencing coming undone please bend down and put it back in place. Also please don’t be shy about keeping the flower beds free from stray litter. It’s far more effective to do one small constructive act than it is to just react.

Compliments also to the Beach Club on their beautiful planters that are lining the sidewalk on the approach to beach. They have added great curb appeal to that section of the block.

We hope more and more locals come to understand that many of the store owners on Beach 116 Street. deeply care about our neighborhood and do what we can to make you our customers feel comfortable about patronizing our businesses on this block.



The Wave is not responsible for photos or copy left as part of announcements or stories. We will make every effort to return the photo or copy if requested but cannot take responsibility in the rare occasion when the photo or copy cannot be located. We advise readers submitting material to make copies of valuable photos.

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