2005-06-10 / Letters


Vote For Safety Before

Parking Convenience

Dear Editor,

The No Parking Anytime signs must stay on Rockaway Beach Boulevard. As a Rockaway resident of over 40 years, I feel compelled to add a few important comments and ideas. Let’s all be reminded that the malls on the boulevard were carefully planned, and the “no parking” issue was addressed and agreed upon for many good, intelligent reasons. Residents of Rockaway must realize the incredible safety issues involved with letting cars, SUV’s, hummers, and passenger vans park on Rockaway Beach Boulevard. This has and will continue to create a very dangerous situation for all Rockaway residents. The signs, “No Parking Anytime” and “Speed Limit 30”, must stay and motorists must slow down, for the safety of all concerned.

The new roadway on Rockaway Beach Boulevard and malls were not intended to be used as a raceway for local car services and restaurants delivery cards to race through our neighborhood at lightning speed, please slow down, life is too short and insurance is too high. The legal speed limit on Rockaway Beach Boulevard and the other streets that run through Rockaway is 30 m.p.h. On the side streets the speed limit is reduced to just 10 m.p.h. and yes, children do still play on the street, ride bikes and skate in front of their houses, as most of us did when we were kids.

The other day I tried to drive 30 m.p.h. on the boulevard, and discovered, out of habit, I drive at about 50 m.p.h., which is, if you don’t know already, a pretty hefty fine and insurance nightmare. When I slowed down to 30 m.p.h. Almost every motorist behind me got mad and went around me at 60 m.p.h. Some made hand gestures and others used their cellphones to report me to the authorities for driving too slow. I did this about 10 times just to be fair and let me tell you, there is a big difference between driving 30 m.p.h. and driving 50 m.p.h. More importantly, I learned that if I drive at the speed limit, I give myself a better chance to react to the different things that might happen while driving.

A parking lane on Rockaway Beach Boulevard creates many hazards. First, any local motorist trying to make a turn from a side street onto the boulevard or Newport Avenue knows its impossible to see past the parked SUV’s, vans and/or parked cars until you are halfway into the intersection. As you make it past the parked SUV on the corner, and you inch your way out into the intersection, here comes your trusty local car service barreling down at 60 m.p.h. or maybe an inattentive motorist on a cell phone cursing you, for interrupting their call, while you’re trying to get a look at the oncoming traffic from around parked cars.

As the summer approaches most residents cross the Boulevard to get to the beach. The parking creates a major hazard to residents and motorists who will be unable to see pedestrians and bicyclists trying to cross to get to the beach, due to the limited visibility caused by the parked vehicles. Most contributing factors of accidents, deaths and injuries on roadways are all present here and now, this condition is an accident waiting to happen created by parked cars, SUV’s and vans and by motorists/residents that drive too fast out of habit. I’m guilty too.

Rockaway Beach Boulevard should be a one wide lane for traffic east- bound and one wide lane for traffic westbound. The other portion of the roadway should be utilized as a designated running/jogging path and bicycle lane for local residents to enjoy. A two-lane roadway is not necessary either. In my 40 years of living in Rockaway I have never seen nor experienced a traffic jam of any sort. Parked cars and traffic only destroy the beauty of our community.

The residents of Rockaway along with our local and community groups should be encouraged to try the 30 m.p.h. test and see what I mean. A designated running/jogging path and bicycle path is a much better was to improve the quality of life in our community. The dangers that exist here and now should be addressed and corrected for the safety of all residents and visitors alike.

To all my neighbors, as the warm weather approaches we must remember to drive safely, wear seatbelts, and watch for children crossing, the bicyclist, the runners, and the motorcyclist. The safety of our neighbors should be paramount to all. Please slow down and enjoy the ride, as we all know life is too short. That’s what makes Rockaway such a great place to live.

I encourage all residents to contact your local representatives listed on page 4 and help, by supporting the creation of a designated running/jogging path and bicycle lane for all residents and visitors to enjoy.


Get Involved

Dear Editor,

Ever since our June 21, 2002 wedding, my husband, Jim Kelly, calls himself a community activist intern. His #1 quality of life issue was the lack of Walk, No Walk signs on Beach 108 Street and Shore Front Parkway.

The safety of our seniors and students from P.S. 225, St. John’s Home, Maura Clark Middle School and Stella Maris was at stake as they crossed this intersection. Jim encouraged me to call Councilman Joe Addabbo’s office to get some action and get a letter from the Rockaway Park Home and Residents Association to have a DOT survey done regarding this issue.

My $1 quality of life issue was to get low pines planted in the flower beds on Beach 101 and Beach 105th Streets near the Boardwalk. As a summer resident in Rockaway, I remember the beautiful flower displays in the 1950’s. Another call was made to Councilman Addabbo’s office and as usual, Sandee took a deep interest in the project as well as the traffic signs.

When Jim and I returned to Rockaway from Florida, on May 5, we were delighted to see new traffic lights and signs on Beach 108 Street and Shore Front Parkway. Today, June 1, we walked along the Boardwalk and saw the Parks Department working on the flower beds on Beach 101 Street and beach 105 Street.

We would like to thank the energetic staff of Councilman Addabbo’s and the Rockaway Park Home and Residents Association for their follow through and persistence.

Jim and I welcome all our new Rockaway residents. Please get involved in a civic or home resident association. You can make a difference in improving the quality of life in Rockaway.


Democrats In Turmoil

Dear Editor,

Why do liberal Democrats always blame the National Rifle Association for pushing the agenda that the majority of the American people want?

The people of Florida want to be able to protect themselves on the street and the NRA backed that right.

Why do liberal Democrats always deny the constitutional rights of American citizens to keep and bear arms for self and family protection, at the same time that they free predators with a slap on the wrist?

I’m sure that nobody at The Wave can answer those questions

At present, 38 states have passed laws for the Constitutional right that our forefathers had the superior intelligence to place in the Bill of Rights. The Second Amendment guarantees the other nine.

Washington, D.C. has the highest crime rate in the country and its residents are now seeking the right to carry a concealed weapon. Why is there a horrific crime rate there? Because the Liberal politicians in our nation’s capitol are far outside the mainstream of America, just as The Wave is.

The NRA should be given credit for “Project Exile”, which is strictly enforced all over America, including New York. It provides an automatic five year sentence (no plea bargains allowed) to those caught with illegal guns and their use to commit crime, besides the time for other charges.

I bet you never heard of it. It plays as a commercial on TV only in the wee hours of the morning. Again, I wonder why. And time and time again, it has been stated by the NRA that if the laws on the books about illegal weapons and illegal use of same were enforced, you wouldn’t need any new idiocy to be passed by legislatures nationwide. If you have the intestinal fortitude to do so, go to Washington and interview Senator Dian Weinstein (D-California) and her outright – what was the real reason those five children were shot and killed in a schoolyard in a city that she was mayor of at the time this happened? Then get the true story from the NRA and others who know why this happened on her watch. All involved with this felon up to his fifth act of violence should go to prison, including her. Now she balderdashes her way in Congress as an anti-gunner, and there is no doubt that she rode on this wagon to get elected.

The present Congress, as well as state and local elected representative and the like have people similar to the Benedict Arnold’s, the Rosenberg’s, the Jane Fonda’s, the John Kerry’s, the Clinton’s and the many other who care not for America to remain a strong sovereign nation, and will sell America out to achieve their own personal agendas. Don’t they realize that if America goes, so will they? Then when they realize what they have done – who will save them? Not George Soros and his megabucks; not Michael Moore and his genius for the big lie; not John Kerry and his for and against-ism; not Ted Kennedy and his “I am God” attitude; or the disgraceful Clintons or Jimmy Carter; and not to forget those who would sell their mothers for a price to gain fame and a big fortune – the true hypocrites in America.

As President Andrew Jackson said in his farewell address to the nation, “Eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty…you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing.” Yet there are those who do not give a plug nickel for this country. They take all and give nothing in return but disgraceful actions. That is until the people begin to stir and act accordingly…and then the politicians pass laws to prevent opposition.

That is what the NRA is doing, and the debate I spoke of earlier was blacked out in a lot of areas. Why, you ask? Simply because dumb liberal Democrats are afraid to speak the truth or let it out. They are like the Hitler, Stalin and Mao and Foxes of this world – don’t let this truth out – and like the Nazi regime said, the bigger the lie, the more will believe it.

So, in your political correctness, keep blaming others for what the good citizens of this country want, and will get. Are you afraid to swim in the mainstream, but wade in the waters of untruths?


It’s Not All Peachy At Peninsula

Dear Editor,

On several different occasions this past year, I have had the “misfortune” to have stayed at Peninsula Hospital. Supposedly, there have been a lot of improvements. I see little evidence of this.

I was kept in the ER on a back-breaking gurney for as long as 9-10 hours, until I was assigned a room.

You cannot get a pillow in the ER. If you ask for a blanket, you’re given a sheet. Same for Kleenex. If some of those dignitaries were to give up some of their banquets and cruises, maybe patients could get bare essentials.

Food is always cold. This could be remedied with proper metal covers for food. Other hospitals do it.

Some of the staff are very nice. But, as I have written to you many times before, the nurses need a course in manners and how to speak to the patients. They are always on the defensive. Why is that?

PG has practically every Dr. in Rockaway and the surrounding areas “on board.” That’s wonderful until you try to locate them. From the hospital is appears the nurses can never locate them either. Is this “hide and seek” or “life and death?”

Everything Bernie Feuer said in the May 20, 2005 Letters To The Editor is true.

Wise up people from Rockaway! Are you happy with their service? They lose things too.

This last stay, I was to be in PG for a procedure which should have been done in a day or two. A week later, I finally had to sign myself out. Do you think this would be called “milking the insurance?”


American Airlines Plane

Could Have Been Culprit

Dear Editor,

I just read your article about a mysterious smell over the Rockaway Peninsula last Friday.  One of the theories as to what caused it was a plane dumping fuel.  Reading the article I was immediately reminded of an incident I witnessed that day involving an American Airlines plane. 

I was on my terrace when I noticed an American Airlines jet that was coming in over the ocean.  It was streaming a trail of white or light gray mist from the tip of it’s wings.  It came in pretty low over the peninsula around the Dayton buildings in the 80’s as it continued to spray the mist.  I was almost certain it was dumping fuel. I was also struck by the sharp turn it was making to line up with the runway. 


Pet Safety In Summer

Dear Editor,

Now that hot summer temperatures have arrived, The Humane Society of the United States wants to remind you that when the weather is hot, your pets are better off at home.

It’s certainly important to spend time with your pet, but on hot summer days, home is the place to be. Summer is the season for flea markets, outdoor concerts, fireworks and picnics, but your pet may not always be welcome at these events. Owners may be tempted to leave their pets in the car, but this scenario can quickly turn deadly. On a warm day, the interior of a parked car can reach 100 degrees in a matter of minutes, even with the windows partially open. Even a quick stop at the grocery store can have dire consequences.

If you do spot an animal in a parked car, you should notify the local police as soon as possible. You don’t need to wait until the animal shows symptoms of heatstroke, but if this does occur, you may want to offer first aid. Signs of heat stress include heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, staggering, vomiting or a deep red or purple tongue. You must lower the animal’s temperature immediately. Move your pet into the shade and apply cool (not cold) water all over the pet’s body to gradually lower their body temperature. Apply ice packs or cold towels to your pet’s head, neck and chest only.

The Humane Society of the United States urges you to make this summer a happy, safe and healthy season for you and your pets.




Boogie Boards Make Sense

Dear Editor;

According to the city, 16 people have drowned at city beaches since 2000, 12 of them after 6 p.m., when lifeguards are off duty.

Half of the 16 drowned in Rockaway. Only one while lifeguards were on duty. None of those had the luxury of a “floatation device” that are presently  banned from city beaches. When was the last time someone drowned in Rockaway while being strapped to a boogie board you ask? NEVER!!!!!!!!

Luckily, surfboarder Mr. Taylor was on his “floatation device”. We would

have lost two teenagers if he weren’t.

The powers at be have no clue about what would be safe for the swimmers of Rockaway Beach. The lifeguards and some supervisors know but they are too afraid to butt heads with the suits, who make the ridiculous decisions and thus, cost lives. What is the first thing a lifeguard grabs when someone is in distress in the water? A floatation device!! But yet they ban our children from using boogie boards. The insanity continues.

A child with a boogie board makes the job of a lifeguard so much easier

and gives peace of mind to parents. I, as a parent, feel so much better when my son is boogie boarding than when he’s swimming with nothing. Are they afraid they’re going to float out to sea?

Let’s stop the nonsense and change the two issues that will help safe lives:

Lifeguards should be on the beach till at least 7-730 p.m. on the weekends.

The teenagers in the green shirts cannot police everyone in the water at that time.

Allow boogie boards (not floatation devices that need to be blown up) so the kids can enjoy & feel safe.

If Benepe, Weiner, Pheffer, or Addabbo don’t act and change these rules

quickly, we will have a long summer of search & recover.


Controversy Heating Up

Dear Editor;

The controversy of the NO PARKING ANYTIME SIGNS on Rockaway Beach Boulevard has certainly reached a boiling point. The Coalition Against No Parking Anytime Signs C.A.N.P.A.S. was very pleased the community has responded. All of this exposure is what should have taken place many years ago. As we began this undertaking our sincere desire was to have all residents informed. In order to be given the opportunity to express their opinions, thus allowing all to be part of the decision making process. As we walked the streets from door to door speaking to many residents, we were surprised many were not aware of why and by what authority the Medians were built on Rockaway Beach Blvd. from Beach 126 Street to Beach 139 Street and equally puzzled as to why NO PARKING signs were installed.

At our first meeting with District Manager Jonathan Gaska of Community Board 14 we requested that the issue of the NO PARKING ANYTIME SIGNS would be placed on the Community Board Agenda, and be well published in order to avoid any members of our Community being left in the dark. It is unfortunate that only one of the two functioning civics in Rockaway Park along with the Belle Harbor Property Owners civic orchestrated these changes.

As the letter from the Department of Transportation states all of this was part of a Capital Project. This Project was on the Community Board Agenda with a price tag of over five million dollars. It is a fact the Median and No Parking were never specifically voted on by the Board. In our opinion that is why so many were unaware of what was to come. Our agenda to bring this all out in the open was apparently a great success. There are those who agree with our desire to return parking and there are others pleased with the No Parking on the Boulevard. The D.O.T. seems to be involving itself in politics by stating parking will be restored by community consensus. Parking was lost on fourteen city blocks on R.B.B. without the same kind of community consensus. (who is kidding who?)

 Is it the norm for Queens Commissioner Moran to present herself and the findings of the review to the Rockaway Park Homeowners and Residents meeting on June 1.? The procedure agreed by ALL at the July transportation meeting was as follows - D.O.T. review given to the Community Board, to be presented to the Transportation Committee. Shame on the D.O.T. and Commissioner Moran for such a blatant show of partiality toward those who consider themselves to be in power.

We are all capable of playing the numbers game. Some numbers will be questioned on both sides. How does one obtain a true consensus of a Community? Where does a specific community begin or end? Should the D.O.T. after finding it feasible (capable of being done suitable) to restore parking then give this issue back to a Community consensus again, that never was done prior to the N.P.A.S.

As Fran Stathis wrote in the Dear Editor letter of 6/3/05, all facts should be gathered before making an informed decision. Safety has now become the rallying cry of some, as the reason for N.P.A.S.

At the meeting in the Beach Club on 6/1/05 some residents find the absence of parked cars much more dangerous. Children tend to feel free to run into the road. We have spoken to Police Officers whose opinion is that parked cars act as a buffer preventing a speeding car involved in an accident from cascading onto the sidewalk. Some Firemen feel that the Median prevents their fire trucks ability to immediately reach a fire mid-block on the Blvd. requiring a turn at a corner.(seconds due count) where was that concern before the Median was installed. Parked cars are a reality of all city life. As parents and Grandparents we often preach to our children and grandchildren never run into the road, particular between parked cars. (shall we do away with all parking?) Cronston Ave., Newport Ave and all side streets? Corner parking of S.UV’s and other large vehicles does impair vision. Perhaps those who oppose corner parking should form a COALITION, to petition the city to have all corner parking made illegal, we would be anxious to join.

We have taken personal attacks because of our involvement. However we prefer the high road. As one wise gentlemen said to us, the weak use personal matters. It appears a lesson is needed for Ed. Re how an individual behaves in public and ones public statements, affiliations and actions are indeed open for scrutiny. The recommendation vote of the Transportation Committee was very predicable considering who is on that committee.

In July (date not yet specified) the entire Community Board will make the final decision (unless tabled until the fall) some residents will not be pleased that others not from the immediate area will decide. The statements of some residents attending the 6/1/05 meeting were only homeowners should be counted and only the blocks in question. There was a time in our country only property owners could vote by Community consensus. It is sad to hear such statements by people so desperate to lock others out. For months after the Median was installed the original signs remained with no safety issue. SEE YOU ALL AT THE NEXT COMMUNITY BOARD MEETING





A Disservice To

Educational System

Dear Editor:

As always I am appalled by the comments made in your column.  Why is it when the children of our community work and study hard, you question how they earned their scores? 

Why isn’t this something to celebrate? 

Teachers, students and administrators work hard all year and when the end result is something wonderful, they are all still criticized.  As a former educator you know that schools are required to have 95% attendance in order for the scores to count.  Your implication of unethical behavior belittles the hard work of the students as well as teachers and administrators.  Your column has always done a great disservice to the educational system in Rockaway.



Better Beach Safety

Dear Editor,

The drowning of two Rockaway visitors last Sunday follows a pattern of previous deaths. Visitors who are poor swimmers or non swimmers rush into unfamiliar waters after lifeguards are off duty. Some suggested solutions are:

Keep a number of selected beaches open until sunset on hot evenings.

Have learn to swim and water safety classes on selected beaches.

Water safety lessons should be required in hygiene and gym classes in New York City schools.

Replace lifelines and barrels which were used for many years on Rockaway beaches to mark swimming area and give tired swimmers something to hold on to until rescue or an opportunity to swim back.

Instruct Parks Enforcement to intervene in potentially dangerous situations. Tell them to allow everyone else to relax and enjoy the summer.

I again appeal to the City Council Parks committee and the Public Advocate to hold a public hearing in Rockaway on beach safety and enjoyment.



INSTRUCTOR                                                                                                              Norman Silverman


Please Clean Up After Yourself

Dear Editor,

As the summer months approach, I feel it is the appropriate time to send a message to the lawmakers and enforcers to keep your priorities in the proper place. As much as I look forward to the warmer weather and the chance to stroll the beach without hats and glove, I also approach the season with a degree of fear. One of my greatest pleasures is taking a walk with my dog in the early morning hours on the beach. Now that June has arrived, I can no longer do that without the fear of seeing a police car strolling up the boardwalk, looking to give tickets to responsible dog owners, who take pleasure in both the peaceful aspect of beach-walking and the social aspect of getting together with other dogs and their owners. We “dog people” are a definite core group of this neighborhood. We take care to clean-up after our dogs and keep our community as beautiful and clean as it can be, treasuring the beauty of nature with our pets.

If it is community cleanliness which has spurred this barrage of ticket-giving, I plead with you now to ask the same thing of our human beach-goers. Please expect the people who visit our beaches and our neighborhood to clean up after themselves. I am always dismayed to find the beaches and bus stops littered with empty beer bottles and cigarette butts at the end of the summer days. I find it unfair that you have singled out dog owners as the culprit for making our neighborhood unclean. The summer nights also present themselves with rowdy teenagers tossing bottles, cigarettes and even explosive fireworks along the boardwalk. These instances display not only disrespect, but danger as well.

If you are looking to preserve the beauty and cleanliness of this community, let’s try to focus on constructive ways to do that, rather than punishing innocent dog-walkers. Let’s work on getting more garbage cans on the streets near the bus stops. On a recent walk I noticed that the only garbage cans were located on Beach 129 Street and Beach 116 Street (excluding boardwalk trash cans). Let’s do more to encourage responsibility and respect from all who live and visit here in the summer, and year-round. Let’s work together to keep this community the beautiful, clean, safe and friendly place that we all treasure so deeply.


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