2004-10-22 / Letters


The School System Is Failing Children

Dear Editor,

I write this letter on behalf of my 5-year-old twin sons.

I registered my sons at P.S. 225 last year (their zoned school) and I was told that there was no room for them as the building is overcrowded. They were sent to P.S. 114 as there was plenty of room for them.

The boys were at school everyday (even with asthma). They were well behaved, polite and a pleasure to have in class. Over the summer, I received a letter from P.S. 114 stating that the children were being moved to another school (P.S. 225 – a failing school).

P.S. 114 is not their zoned school. Too bad this does not apply to all the students of P.S. 114. Many of them are using false addresses.

I took the boys to P.S. 225 for Kindergarten, and from that first day there were problems. They were separated without any notification. One son was told that if he needed to see his brother, that would be fine. All he would have to do is raise his hand to see him. When he asked to see his brother, he was told no and to sit down.

Everyday one of my sons was being hit by another student. I went up to school and met with Mr. Melchiorre, the principal. He said he would call the child’s parents. My son told me that they also saw a teacher making a call from her cell phone while in class. Aren’t they supposed to be teaching?

My son cries everyday before school and every night at bedtime. On the sixth day of school (September 22), my son cried from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (This is how long the staff let a child cry before notifying the parent.) That’s a long time for a 5-year-old child. My sons are traumatized by this situation of being taking out of one school and placed in another.

I feel awful that my children do not want to go to school at their age. This is supposed to be the best time of their lives – learning, exploring, just simply being 5. This will affect them the rest of their lives.

I’ve spoken with Lew Simon, Audrey Pheffer and Region 5, but it’s been to no avail. I have applied for a variance and also for the No Child Left Behind Act. Nobody has been able to help.

All my sons want to do is go back to P.S. 114, where they acted like gentlemen.

It is just a shame that the school board does not have the best interest of the children as their main concern. What a shame! And shame on all the school board members for ruining the children.


Take No Streets

Dear Editor:

Thank you for publishing the articles on Public Access and Visual Corridors. Maybe little by little we can get the public to understand what we are trying to say. Please allow me to share with your readers what myself and Richard George have discovered.

The Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (CZMA) was an Act of Congress. The law was intended to apply in coastal zone boundaries. Its main purpose was to protect the shorelines and allow the public to enjoy the Visual Corridors and Public Access to the water. The Secretary of Commerce gave the task of carrying out the (CZMA) to a federal agency called the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The federal government encouraged all the states to adopt the program. New York was hesitant at first, but in 1982 the State of New York joined and formed the Coastal Management Program (CMP) for the State of New York. The NYS’s CMP was approved by the federal government. Later on, the City of New York formed its own coastal program, called the New Waterfront Revitalization Program (WRP). The NYC’s NWRP had to be approved by the federal government. All three branches of government work together, as partners, to protect the waterfront resources, and the federal government has ultimate oversight of NYS and NYC. The job of the State’s CMP and the City’s NWRP is to make sure citizens, including government officials and developers, are adhering to the CZMA.

A Coastal Zone Boundary is an area of land located a certain distance from a body of water (a lake, a river, a bay, an ocean, etc). Which areas are designated Coastal Zone Boundaries varies in different areas and is determined by the state, with the approval of the federal government.

For example, in Rockaway Beach, the distance from the Jamaica Bay and the distance from the Atlantic Ocean overlap and the federal government declared the entire area of Rockaway Beach from the tip of Breezy Point to the Nassau borderline a Coastal Zone Boundary. Therefore, we here in Rockaway are bound by federal, state, and city coastal management laws, with the federal government having oversight in anything that is built. Our ignorance of the laws governing a Coastal Zone Boundary is no excuse when the hammer strikes the anvil. That is the best way I can explain it at the moment. Richard George expresses the law in a Coastal Zone Boundary in more detail than I can.

The bottom line is: You cannot eliminate an EXISTING Public Access to the water, or block an EXISTING Visual Corridor to the water.

To name a few Rockaway locations in which violations are apparent: The 46 streets in the Arverne Urban Renewal Area proposed to be eliminated is in violation of the CZMA. The Mapped Public Access and Walkway to Jamaica Bay now covered over by the Duane Reade building on Beach 116 Street must be restored. All laws should apply to everyone and not the chosen few. The State of New York has already spent more then 3 billion dollars of taxpayers’ money enforcing the CZMA. Isn’t it time they were held accountable?


Don’t Blame It On Size

Dear Editor:

In response to Lawrence McGuire’s Letter to the Editor in the October 9 issue of The Wave.  He wrote of the double parking mess on 129 St.  I nodded my head in agreement when he continued to include the same problem around our schools.

However, the fact that he went on to blame this problem on “obese slugs” stopped me in my tracks.  As a woman of size, I object to being stereotyped as lazy and inconsiderate.  I love my children and neighbors as much as you do, Mr. McGuire.  I always walk that block or two to park safely, as all concerned people should.

This issue is about an illegal parking situation, period.  Let us, all shapes and sizes, work together to fix this dangerous situation.


Times Wouldn’t Print It

Dear Wave Editor:

On October 5, the Rockaway Republicans hosted Howard Mills, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in New York State, at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club. The New York Times had a reporter there (so The Wave was in “good” company!) and he ultimately quoted me as saying that I thought Mills was caught in a kind of “nowhere land” due to the squeeze between the Democratic incumbent and the New York State Conservative Party, which had declined to back Mills and chose instead to run its own candidate instead. Of course I said much more than the “nowhere land” quote and, after I read the article, I shot off a letter to the Times amplifying my comment to put it into context. But the Times declined to print it. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. They are not famous for going out of their way to print anything that might help candidates from the GOP. They have long since, in my view, ceased to be practitioners of old-style balanced journalism. Well, since the Times refused to print my letter, perhaps The Wave will:

Dear Times Editor,

In his piece of October 11th, 2004, Times reporter Michael Slackman referenced the visit of Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate Howard Mills to southern Queens, as a guest of the newly formed Rockaway Republicans. In his article, Mr. Slackman focused on Mills’ lack of immediate name recognition among some of our members and quoted me as saying I was concerned this put Mills in a kind of “nowhere land,” given an extremely well funded Democratic incumbent on the left and an aggressive challenge from the state’s Conservative Party candidate on the right. True enough, as far as it goes. But your reporter missed the bigger story and that is the rise in the Republican Party of a liberty-oriented middle, the place Mr. Mills has chosen to take his stand.

New York voters have a different kind of choice before them this election year in Howard Mills, one that is neither for big spending, big government, top-down nannyism, as represented by Chuck Schumer, nor for an older-fashioned rejectionist social Conservatism. In the tradition of John Stuart Mill, the nineteenth century British philosopher, Howard Mills (no relation, as far as I know) stands for personal choice and less intrusive government in a modern world that continues to confront us with new and growing challenges to both liberty and life.

In his presentation to Rockawayites on October 5th, Mills won the hearts of folks who hadn’t known much about him before, with his clear and articulate support of the president’s homeland security and tax cutting agendas. At the same time, he offered an inclusive message which recognizes the limits of the state vis a vis the personal lives of its citizens. Mr. Mills, a State Assemblyman from Orange County, shows you don’t have to be divisive to be conservative and that New Yorkers can send a Senator to Washington who will look to their interests at all levels, standing with the President on critical matters of homeland security and economic empowerment while raising the banner of personal liberty and fiscal responsibility.

Conservatism in the United States needn’t be about constricting choices. Indeed, it has its roots in the love of freedom and independence that imbued America’s first patriots, and in the delicate but critical balances the founders struck, and we must continue to strike, to preserve these.

Mills is only in “nowhere land” if New Yorkers miss the full story because newspapers like yours focus on matters of relative campaign wealth and the coverage it can buy, while losing sight of his essential message which synthesizes a passion for freedom with the exigencies of the modern world.



Congratulates Meeks

Dear Editor;

I am writing a letter congratulating Congressman Gregory Meeks on his tour of Far Rockaway on Friday, October 15. I was at the Far Rockaway High School town hall meeting and was truly proud of not only the Congressman, but the students who asked questions with respect, intelligence and true substance.

The Congressman targeted the Rockaway youth who are seeking positive outlets for their time both in and out of school. The students spoke out in frustration on issues such as, not enough jobs and recreational activities.

I was proud and had to write something positive about Far Rockaway High School students.

The students asked questions regarding economic development and recreational activities for the Rockaway youth. Congressman Meeks announced some new services coming such as a new YMCA and his desire to bring businesses to the Rockaways, such as a movie theatre, a shopping mall, and even corporate sponsors for the schools in Rockaway.

The Congressman also acknowledged the under utilization of existing youth and family services in the Rockaways, such as The Lighthouse Foundation, The Action Center for Community Development, the Boys and Girls Club on Beach 40 Street, Sorrentino Recreational Center and the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corp. (RDRC). All of these and many others already provide youth services extending from youth employment, job training, recreational activities, GED prep courses, computer literacy, parent aerobics and even representation in Department of Education Hearings.



Thanks 100 Precinct

Dear Editor;

A few weeks ago, I stopped by Whalemina in the middle of the night to drop off some donated mosaic tile on my way home. 

As I got back into my truck, a police car pulled up and two higher ranking officers got out, I explained I was the artist working on the whale. They very courteously acknowledged this, explaining their concern that perhaps I could have been damaging or defacing her and went about their business.  I personally wish to thank those officers and the 100th precinct for their prompt and polite response to a potential unwanted whale raider.



Support Our Troops

Dear Editor,

Many people may remember the day when our entertainers sang and entertained our solders.  Today we have entertainers like Bruce Springteen singing against them. How quick  some people who are not true New Yorkers forget we were attacked on 911.  Then again, The Boss, (the titled must have went to his head) didn’t witness the attack on 911.  He was already in his basement trying to make money off it.

It will be his next album that shows him how many fans he lost.  Never forget 911.  Support our troops!!!



Prisoner Of The Night

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank you for putting into The Wave my poem for Michael P. Sweeney. I hope you are your readers will enjoy this one.

“Prisoner Of The Night”

The night is black and very cold

Surrounded by a gray dismal mist

Silence dominates the air about me

Pray tell, what strange land is this.

This road I find myself walking down

Seems unfamiliar, unfriendly, and lonely

I can’t ever recall being here at one time or another

It all seems so strange and haunting now

As my fears begin to taunt me.

Now my fears have grown stronger as questions begin to mount

How did I get here, and where is this place

Why only me, where are the others?

Won’t someone hear my cry, please show your face?

Still remains the silence, the mist, the loneliness

As I walk my mind grows weary and tired

Could this be but a dream, a nightmare, a fantasy

Or am I a prisoner of the night?

Time seems endless as I continue my journey into the night

My fears have now turned to anger with every step I take

But wait, a head of me a sign appears

It reads, “Rest In Peace”

My God, I’m dead!

Now, no one will ever hear my cry

As I continue on my endless flight

My fears and anger have all disappeared

For I am a prisoner of the night.


A Poem For A Friend

Dear Editor,

I wrote a poem for those who lost a friend too soon. In these troubled times we live in, there are few of us who haven’t been hit with the loss of someone before their time. It’s always too soon to lose a friend. This is in memory of Danny Barroso.

“If Only”

If only we knew

It would be the last time

We’d ever see a friend,

We might be a little kinder

And…our differences try to mend

Maybe…about their “problems”

We wouldn’t make a joke!

Or try to “press their buttons”

(Some anger to provoke!)

Then we’d use our foresight

To try to make things right…

And maybe even mend some things

Before we said goodnight!

Because if we knew

It would be the last time

We’d ever see a friend

We’d probably hand them our last dollar…

And have some time with them to spend

I’m sure if we knew

It was the last time

We would ever see a friend…

We would be one.


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