2004-08-06 / Letters

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.

A Liberal Bias At The Wave?

Dear Editor,

Judging by your “coverage” of a recent gathering of Republicans (7/15) for fundraising purposes at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club, perhaps you should change the name of your publication to, “The Liberal Wave.”

We don’t live in Rockaway, but we have relatives and many friends who do so. We had to offer these comments because we were present at the event in question and because we shudder at the thought of another Jimmy Carter or Billary Clinton on the line as our next President. It should be most interesting to compare your handling of a similar event in your neighborhood for the benefit of the Democrats. Maybe we’ve got it all wrong and you’ll deal with them in the same very brief and perfunctory fashion. If that’s the case then we’ll write again to be fair and factual. You know what I mean – like newspapers are supposed to be.

ED BASTIAN

Dunes Are Important

The writer of this letter is a retired Science teacher and the contributor of “Drawing On Science,” which appears in the Wave on a regular basis.

To the Editor:

I read that the sand dunes along Beach 123-124th Streets have been bulldozed at the request of the Rockaway Homeowners Association. The Association, as evidenced by its decision to have the dunes removed, is obviously composed of residents who are ignorant of the importance of such landforms. I say ignorant because any enlightened person, or organization, would not have made such a request. What is even more disturbing is the fact that the NYC Parks Department, an organization that should be enlightened, did the bulldozing itself.

The Parks Department, according to the article, says that the dunes are not “official” and that the community may have legitimate dunes after proper paperwork is submitted. If I understand this correctly a sand dune naturally or artificially forming on our beaches—due to processes that have been in effect eons before man arrived on earth, let alone in the Rockaways—is performing an unofficial, illegitimate act. Now that speaks wonders for the Parks Department. Why not just give the dunes a summons?

While the sand dunes apparently bothered a dozen or so unhappy residents of Rockaway, mosquitoes are enjoying dinner at the expense of a great deal more unhappy Rockaway residents. The time and energy spent on destroying the ecologically important sand dunes would have been put to better use destroying the potentially dangerous insects—a much more important issue.

The anti-dune group cited “cleanliness and access” problems. Such problems are easily solved without removing dunes. Beachgoers can carry their garbage off the beach when they leave, and designated paths can give access to and from the beach. Unfortunately, no one thought of this.

Coastal sand dunes are essential, natural beach barriers protecting the upland beach and inland areas from storm waves, unusually high tides, and wind-blown sand. The vegetation that maintains the dunes’ integrity follows a succession of plant species that run from the long-leaved, plain American beach grass to the yellow flowers of the silvery-leaved Dusty Miller, and other colorful flowering plants. But now that the dunes are gone the anti-dune homeowners can stop worrying about cleanliness or access and have an ocean view without annoying sand dune barriers. Maybe they can watch a storm surge rush up on the beach and, with no dunes to block its path or at least cut down its energy, they can enjoy its destructive force as it floods their streets.

STEPHEN YAEGER

Thanks PHC

Dear Editor:

I recently developed a medical condition not at all easy to diagnose. Naturally, I sought the best medical care that I could find. A local doctor referred me to specialists at NYU Medical Center and The Hospital for Joint Diseases in Manhattan. Today, medicine is tests, tests and more tests. I was tired of traveling into Manhattan and asked my doctors if I could have MRI’s and other tests done locally. Reluctantly, they agreed.

I went to Peninsula Hospital Center with its new radiology department and state of the art MRI machines.  They did the tests in the morning and the doctors at NYU and Hospital for Joint Diseases received the results in the afternoon. The doctors were very impressed with the speed and accuracy of the test results provided by Peninsula Hospital.

I would like to thank Mr. Robert Levine, President of Peninsula Hospital Center for providing such fine medical facilities so close to home. I would also like to thank the staff and technicians of the Radiology and MRI Department for their kind, efficient, and professional care.

GERALDINE FRAZER

Wave Was Wrong

Dear Editor;

In last week’s The Wave, “The Beachcomber” column reported on the new Rockaway Republican Club’s Party for the President on Thursday, July 15, at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club. What the columnist got wrong was the implied assumption that many people showed up to see TV actor Tony Sirico from The Sopranos.

This is dead wrong. I was there, from 7 PM until the party ended near 10 PM, and all the people I talked to, of all ages, including registered Democrats, Irish-looking folks, Jewish men who wore yarmulkes, and those who had never gone to political campaign gatherings before (like me, though I vote every year) were there to support President Bush, period. People RSVP’d a week ahead of time, and most folks, like me, didn’t even know Sirico was going to be there until getting an email the night before. 

He arrived, said a big hello to all 122 people in the bar and side rooms, stayed for about 45 minutes at a table with a couple of men he came in with, heard some of the speeches, and left. Most people stayed after that, and those I spoke with were 9/11 motivated, had lost loved ones or neighbors or work colleagues (like me) and want to re-elect President Bush. They and I want him to push on in this “fight to the finish” against wild-eyed Arab enemies abroad or living among us, and to persevere against the American media and left-wing’s fifth column here at home.    

I had already volunteered to work the Republican Convention, but many others were also joining up that night to volunteer, too. The Club also had lots of new members join. Please correct the dis-information from that “Beachcomber” column for your readers. 

Your columnist may find it hard to believe, but nevertheless, loads of people believe George W. Bush because he says what he means and means what he says. Recent reports from both British Intel (Butler Report) and the 9/11 Commission confirm that George Bush never lied, that Iraq was trying to buy uranium yellow cake from Niger, that partisan Joe Wilson lied, that partisan Richard Clarke ordered the Saudi royals to board planes out of the U.S., that there were Iraq/Saddam ties to terrorists, and now, Sandy Berger was caught stealing classified documents from the National Archive at the behest of the Democrats. Who really lied to the American people and is still lying?

It’s really very easy to understand the July 15 groundswell of support for President Bush and his entire team of very competent people. We want them around for another 4 years to show the whole world American resolve to finish the job, just like the American people displayed in WWII.

JUDY GALLAGHER CLOSE

Unfair To Republicans

I was very disappointed with the lack of real coverage offered by The Wave for the Rockaway Republicans’ recent party for President Bush on July 15th. Not for anything, but this event, which drew in around 150 people, was probably the largest turnout of Republicans in our community in decades. By any measure, that’s real news.

Our group, the Rockaway Republicans, moved heaven and earth to make it a success. Yet, your Beachcomber column tossed the record-breaking event off in a single, inadequate paragraph, while implying that those who came did so as much to see a television actor, Tony Sirico, as to offer support for the President. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, Mr. Sirico’s attendance was a last minute development that none of us knew about until a day or so before the event. Meanwhile RSVP’s had already been surpassing anything we had seen to date in the preceding weeks. At the party itself we actually secured 122 signatures of support, in our effort to gather a thousand signatures on a letter of thanks we will be sending the president for his steadfast leadership and courage after 9/11. The Wave’s decision to minimize coverage of our celebration was therefore surprising, to say the least, given what we took to be your previous fairness in covering our activities.

Personally I have great respect for the Wave and believe it has done our community a great service by its usually fair reporting and promotion of diversity in opinions. But even the Wave may have its subtle preconceptions that exert an influence on the stories it tells. Perhaps this is why your writer wrongly assumed that the turnout for the president was less than genuine. It’s important for a newspaper, even a local weekly like yours, to target the highest standard of objectivity possible. Otherwise it runs the risk of becoming like The New York Times, a once great national daily that has now fallen into disrepute for its concessions to bias and group-think.

TOM LYNCH

ACTING PRESIDENT

ROCKAWAY REPUBLICANS

Not There For Paulie

Dear Editor:

My name is JoAnn Ambrosio, and I am proud to say that I am a recent addition not only to the Rockaways, but to the newly formed Rockaway Republicans club. In the weeks I have spent with this very dedicated group, we all worked very hard in our efforts to spread the word that it is important to re-elect President Bush for the safety, security and well-being of our country.

One of our strongest efforts was to honor the President by sponsoring a gathering on July 15, 2004, at the request of Laura Bush. This was accomplished not only by the Rockaway Republicans, but by Republican groups all around the country, at the same time and on the same date.  A conference call was made by the First Lady simultaneously to all of the gatherings throughout the country at 8:30 p.m.

Our invitation “flyers” were headed with an invitation from “Laura Bush,” and these flyers also noted that there would be some local musical entertainment, a visit from our new addition to the Republican ticket, Rockaway resident Gerry Cronin, and some food.

In your article of July 23, 2004, in the “Beachcomber” section, you said “It is unclear how many came to the event to back Bush and how many came to see Paulie Walnuts.” 

You did not do your research before you made that statement!  Our flyers did not indicate the surprise visit by actor Tony Sirico. As a member of the Rockaway Republicans, I myself did not learn of his expected appearance until the night before. 

Nonetheless, we had approximately 130 people show up for the party. I personally signed them all in, and I could accurately say that about 95% of them were quite surprised when I told them at the door that we had an “unplanned” guest appearance by Tony Sirico.

Additionally, you referred to our gathering as a fundraiser. One woman who I signed in offered to make a donation, and she was promptly thanked for her offer, but told “no thank you”, because our gathering was to honor the President and gain votes for him, not to collect any money.

So if there is still any thought in your mind that our approximately 130 guests came to see “Paulie Walnuts”, let me clear it up with just one more comment. We collected 120 signatures at our function on a “Letter of Thanks” to the President. Those who signed were not all Republicans, incidentally. Our goal is to collect 1000 signatures to present to President Bush at the Convention next month. And the only “autograph” received from Tony Sirico was the one where he signed my guest sheet, with the approximately 129 others. I also noticed that he did NOT draw a crowd around his table. 

JOANN AMBROSIO

Death Penalty No Longer

Viable

Dear Editor,

New York State legislators can kill the death penalty this week, and I hope they do.

NY’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, recently found NY State’s death penalty legislation unconstitutional. The General Assembly, under Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, is attempting to a apply a ‘quick fix.’ I am writing to petition, however, that the Assembly let this legislation lie and die. New York’s death penalty has contribute not one iota to crime prevention nor crime deterrence, but has cost NY taxpayers over $170 million, so far!

Capital punishment was reintroduced in 1995 upon the election of Governor Pataki – at a time when NYC and NY State crime were at horrifically high levels. Crime, at the time, was a cancer – a plague on the City of New York – sapping strength not only from her victims but from all our citizens, especially our elderly and our youth. The solutions did not come from Governor Pataki, however, but from Mayor Giuliani and Commissioner Bratton. Their proactive approach to combating crime on the streets and deploying crime-prevention resources where and when they were most needed has almost miraculously reduced all levels of crime, from the petty to the horrific.

I fully understand that many, many good and conscientious people feel the death penalty is legal, valid and necessary. Most unfortunately, I couldn’t disagree more. Should the State of New York carry out a policy of death, especially in light of occasionally flawed jurisprudence? The Republican Governor of Illinois, George Ryan, found his state’s country court system so flawed that he took the extraordinary action of pardoning the 150+ men on his state’s Death Row. In some cases, prosecutors seek and get evidence from one perp (seeking clemency) against another. And, through DNA, we’re proving that a few people on death row across America are innocent. Three such guys from Lynbrook were released last June after 18 years on death row for a murder they did not commit.

Certainly and rightly, the families of victims seek justice, satisfaction, retribution and something called ‘closure.’ And, certainly and rightly, society seeks protection from the vicious, from the demented and from the hallucinatory that perpetrate these horrific crimes. One vicious wrong cannot, however, justify another. With some trepidation, may I also say our Judeo-Christian heritage suggests that life is precious, and that even in the most debased there is a flicker of spirit.

The guilty must pay for their offenses, and for the worst crimes, that is for the crime of destroying a precious life, they should pay with a life behind bars, in a penal institution, forever. Maybe they will live the balance of their lives in denial or seeking solace, but they will certainly demonstrate to themselves and to society that crime does not pay.

People from all political stripes – Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians – are against the death penalty.

Please contact Rockaway’s representative to the State Assembly, Audrey Pheffer at 718-945-9550 and tell her to let this ineffective and morally bankrupt policy ‘lie and die.’

PETE STUBBEN

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