2005-02-04 / Letters

Letters

Appalled By thought

Dear Editor,

I was appalled when I read on the Far Rockaway High School website, the article you wrote in the Wave about changing the name of the school. For students to want to excel in a school, they have to have pride in that school. But this does not occur automatically when a school’s name has been changed to reflect a particular ethnic group. Students need to appreciate the heritage of a school & the community of which they are a part. When they know its history, and that past graduates of the school have been successful; they will understand that they also can be successful. That is when they will take pride in their school, and want the school to take pride in them. The legacy of Far Rockaway High School is its graduates that include 3 Nobel Prize winners, Financier Carl Icahn, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Basketball star Sid Tanenbaum, Westinghouse Science winners, doctors, lawyers, & other professionals too numerous to mention. And in 1950 Far Rockaway was runner-up for the NYC basketball championship & played in Madison Square Garden.  This is only part of the heritage that the students will not know if the school’s name is changed.

MYRNA LANDE LEWIS

CLASS OF 1953

Couldn’t Believe It

To the Editor;

I couldn’t believe it when a classmate sent me an article about changing Far Rockaway High School’s name.  How many Nobel Laureates (I only thought of R. Feynman, and was told that there are 2 others) would be associated with the new name, not to mention Westinghouse winners and Corporate Bigwigs?  Perhaps you should run some of the history of Far Rockaway High School before blithely agreeing to renaming a school with a long and very great reputation.  Renaming it won’t increase the GPA of FRHS.

GAYLE JACOBSON FISHKIN

CLASS OF 1953

Needle Exchange And

Racial Profiling

Dear Editor,

The epidemiological research associated with the transmission of HIV disease has consistently demonstrated that for injecting drug users needle exchange programs retard the transmission of the virus that causes AIDS. This retardation process has been called, “hard reduction” appreciating the fact that drug addicted lifestyle has the probability of curtailing one’s life more rapidly than the degenerative process of HIV disease. Advocates of needle exchange programs have continually emphasized the “humanitarian imperative” to couple these programs with substance abuse treatment.

This is the question that should be asked the 21 community board members who voted to place the program in downtown Far Rockaway and by the way – don’t be so naïve as to believe you’re speaking on behalf of this community of color because you do not speak for us clearly in this matter.

If you did here are some of the questions you would have asked before saying ‘put the program anywhere but Belle Harbor’; has the community increased access to substance abuse treatment programs? Are there plans for increasing substance abuse treatment slots? Research has demonstrated that communities prepared and involved in “harm reduction” needle exchange programs are far more effective than those programs that aren’t embraced by the community.

For too long Community Board 14 and its members (you know who you are) have been divisive when the issues affect the east end of the Rockaways. Case in point, if you had proposed or recommended that this program be placed in Bayswater, Read Lane and/or Belle Harbor the board would have invited the religious and community leaders to a meeting at the Community Board 14 office for private consultation. I’m not angry at my brothers and sisters from those communities for their demands. The double standards are clear because not one religious leader of color or community leader was briefed before the board voted on this matter at the January 11 meeting.

So that we’re clear, the Far Rockaway NAACP supports the efforts to reduce and eradicate the prevalence and the transmission of HIV/AIDS in our community. The community board process is either flawed or reeks of racial profiling. For the record, as early as 1992, the NAACP recognized that “HIV/AIDS is a public health crisis in the African-American community.” Despite over a decade of work urging African-American leaders and organizations, government officials, and individual members of the African community to improve prevention and treatment for this epidemic, the problem has not decreased.

ED WILLIAMS

NAACP FAR ROCKAWAY BRANCH PRESIDENT

Inconvenience Must Stop

This letter was sent to the President of the Metropolitan Transportation Agency.

Dear Mr. Reuter:

Last week at the Ways and Means Hearings in Albany, Katherine Lapp, Executive Director of the MTA, spoke about problems with the “A” and “C” lines that service my district. Since that time, there have been numerous articles in our local newspapers explaining the problems and the new time frame for repairs.

I would like to bring up the predicament that exists with the “A” Rockaway Park Express line.

This service has been cut 100 percent, causing commuters to change trains at least two times to reach Manhattan. It has added in the neighborhood of 45 minutes to an already long trip, causing a real inconvenience for your ridership.

According to the articles, you will be slowly increasing “A” express service, and I sincerely request that you include the Rockaway Park “A” Line when expanding the express service.

Thank you in advance for your time and attention in this regard. I look forward to hearing from you relative to my request.

AUDREY I. PHEFFER

MEMBER OF ASSEMBLY

Good Things Are Happening

Dear Editor,

This letter was written to School Scope columnist Norman Scott:

In answer to the question of whether we have anything positive to say about those running the schools...

The assistant principals at PS/MS 43 are what truly make life bearable.  They always have our backs, as the expression goes, and are ever nudging us, not always gently, but not nastily, to keep up with all the various requirements placed upon us. They are definitely overworked and under appreciated, and I know I speak for my colleagues in the upper grades when I say THANK YOU Sara Trezza, Debbie Otto, and Cindy Lee!  

I have been fortunate enough to be a recipient of part of the new $17 million grant for technology in the classroom. We have a cartful of laptops and lots of peripherals to make learning more interesting to the students.  It is amazing how eager they are to do research and write now.  I have said we are “fooling” them into reading, because they’re reading webpages instead of books.  It is very exciting and uplifting, and my students are really working.  I teach two 7th and one 8th grade English class, and have connected the projects we do to the Social Studies curriculum to further enhance their learning.

Positive things are happening!

LIZ GRAHAM

TEACHER, PS/MS 43

Why Do We Get

Inferior Service?

Dear Sirs:

The Beach blocks of 113, 114 and 115 Streets have, at the Boardwalk, three Skilled Nursing Homes and one Adult Home with a total population of more than 700 residents. 

Yet, after every large snowfall we must appeal to have the streets cleared of snow. Because of the needs of these residents the staff need access 24 hours a day, every day.  Fire, Police and EMS must have a clear path to the end of the block. 

This snowstorm was like all the others - Sanitation made a cursory plow down the block on Sunday. This opened a single lane. No other plowing was done. Not on Monday or Tuesday. 

When I complained to Community Board 14 they contacted Sanitation.  We were told that the Sanitation Supervisor said it was good enough.  There wasn’t room to turn an ambulance around. They had to back down the block. These complaints have been voiced for years. 

Do we need a tragedy to occur on one of these blocks before something is done?

One final note.  Why is it that the beach blocks in Neponsit and Belle Harbor are regularly plowed earlier, more often and more completely than ours? Why does the Sanitation Department set a higher priority for those blocks than ones with 700 aged and infirm residents?

PATRICK M. RUSSELL

DIRECTOR,

PARK NURSING HOME

Editorial Is Wrong

Dear Sir:

Your editorial of Friday the 28, against private accounts to solve the problem of Social Security does not present solid arguments, but imaginary comparisons.  The facts are that we are not having enough children. Currently there are three workers for each retired, and in a few more years, there will be only two workers per retired, and retired people are not only a bigger percentage of the population, but also living longer.

The second fact is that according to the estimates of the Social Security Actuaries, in 2018 the contributions of the workers will not be enough to cover the benefits currently promised, requiring either a tax increase or

drawing from the IOU’s of the Federal Government which has been using the surplus of Social Security to patch up the deficit.  The “lock box” is as real as the tooth fairy.  Most well to do people have IRA’s, Keogh, or other retirement plans.  Why not allow this benefit to all the population? People of modest means do not have the spare cash to contribute to these plans.

We do not know yet what is going to be the proposal of the Government on this respect.  What has been mentioned is to devote between 1/6 and 1/3 of the contributions to FICA, and the other 4/6 to 5/6 will remain as of now, earning the proportional benefit.  Historically deposits in FICA have had a yield slightly over 1% over inflation, compared to more than 7% of an index fund of the S&P 500, representing the 500 largest corporations of this country.  Historically there has never been a period of 10 years in which this has not been profitable.  Given the compounding of interest, this small fraction of FICA moneys should have a better yield than the other 2/3 or 5/6.  At death, Social Security has a death benefit of $255.  And all the pension monies are lost, except that the spouse can choose between his/hers benefit and 50% of the benefit of the dead spouse. In our current situation, most surviving spouses will be working, or retired with their own pension, and given the formula to calculate the benefit, one has to earn less than one third of the earnings of the higher income spouse to have a benefit smaller than 50%.  Private accounts can be transferred entirely to the surviving spouse or children.  The high costs that some have written about are not true.  The Vanguard 500 Index fund has administrative costs of 0.2%, and has transaction costs higher than is to be expected from real long term investments as retirement funds.  The administrative costs of the federal employees pensions is a small fraction

of that.

If we continue with the current system, in a few years time our children or grandchildren will have to choose between reduced benefits, a higher age of retirement or much higher taxes.  There will be transition costs, but every year that goes by, these costs become greater.  A responsible policy requires a prompt solution.

RAUL ALLESSANDRI

Respect Parking Cones

Dear Wave Editor,

A few years back, you published an editorial from a Rockaway resident who was upset because Broad Channel residents use cones or garbage cans to hold their parking spaces. I believe the editorial was sent to you by the mother of a past captain at the 100th Precinct. Trust me, the author was referring specifically to me and I ultimately received a response from the NYPD, apologizing  to me for being harassed by police officers about cones and parking spots. These brave men and women should simply concentrate on fighting crime and not get caught up in the issue of my (our) cones. It’s just a waste of valuable police resources to have to deal with my cones while there is a 10-year old selling crack within 5 miles of my home.  THAT’s the crime.  

I would appreciate an opportunity to vent OUR side of the story.  My name is Mo Sartor (feel free to use my name, as I don’t care) and I live on West Road, directly across from the Broad Channel “A” Train station.  I will be referring to myself in this message, but rest assured, I am speaking for the entire block. There are times when my family, or one of the families on the block will put cones out in the street if they are running to a store or short errand.  It is expected that they will be able to park in these spots when they return.  ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE CARRYING INFANTS AND SMALL CHILDREN.  This is even more evident after our recent winter storm when.  I do not spend 3 hours shoveling MY car out of MY spot to have someone come and disrespect me by moving my cones.  Yes, I did use the word MY spot.  If I were looking for a parking spot by these folk’s homes and saw their cones were out, I would keep driving.  Moving their cones would never even occur as an option to me.  I would show respect and I DEMAND nothing less from everyone else. 

As an example, my car was recently stuck on 9th Road and needed to be pushed to my home.  Prior to going to get my car, I put cones out so I would have somewhere to park AND work on the car.  However, some woman decided to be disobedient and moved my cones and was upset when she found them on her car, which was blocked in.  I don’t understand why this was such a surprise...  I also don’t understand why she would call in the 100th precinct (where she claimed to work) to deal with the situation — AGAIN — they need to FIGHT CRIME!!!  Is the crime rate that low???     

Additionally, I saw something this morning that really agitated me and prompted me to write to you.  A couple in their 70s or 80s, who live on Noel Road needed to run to the store for less than five minutes.  During this time, someone going to work simply moved their cones and was parking in their spot when the couple arrived.  They explained that they could not walk very well and had PAID to have the parking spot shoveled and were gone for only 5 minutes.  The woman COLDLY stated that there were no other parking spots and said SORRY as she locked her car and walked to the train...  Did I state that this was an elderly couple?  Hopefully this woman reads the Wave and will one-day see this.  SHAME ON YOU!!! 

The reason for this letter is to put everyone on notice.  It is time for these people to learn some obedience and manners.  There will be NO second warning. 

MO SARTOR

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