2005-06-17 / Letters


Lifeguards Blew Them Away Dear Editor;

Lifeguards knew about the rip tide.

I am so sorry to hear about the swimmers who died on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. on Beach 93 Street due to a rip tide.

I was on Beach 93 Street from 3:30 p.m. until 6 p.m.

During the whole time I was there, a lifeguard (sometimes 2) blew their whistles to prompt swimmers to move to the left due to the rip tide.

At 6 p.m., the lifeguards blew their whistles to get everyone out of the waters, as they were going off duty. If the lifeguards reported the rip tide to their supervisor who could alert the Coast Guard, the lives of those poor swimmers could have been spared.


Where Is The

Community Organization?

Dear Editor,

When I moved back to Rockaway and bought a home in Rockaway Park, I did not know there was such a thing as the Rockaway Park Renters and Homeowners Association. I only learned of it from reading the Wave. I received no invitations to join, I have no way of knowing when or where the meetings are held, and in general have not felt that the association is seeking out new members or comment from its purported constituents. The only time I hear of it is when I read about something that has already happened in your paper — such as the letter that the association sent about the dunes.

So, whenever I read that Ed Re’s organization speaks for “the community”, I greet that with some skepticism.

I for one was very upset that the dunes were not allowed to stay. I feel it was a short sighted decision. Am I in the minority?

I worry that his “organization” is just a cover for Mr. Re’s own views - which are taken more seriously with elected officials if he writes on community organization stationary.

I do not know whether I would join the association if given the opportunity. But I am genuinely curious whether Rockaway Park is genuinely involved in the decisions of this organization.


Too Many Flippers

Dear Editor,

It’s been quite some time since I wrote to The Wave regarding life in Rockapoco. However, this past weekend after noticing all the ads for “Open Houses”, “Apartments for Rent” and “Houses for Sale” in The Wave, I feel it is necessary to ask The Wave to print my letter.

First, I believe it’s time to declare a moratorium on building in the Rockaway Peninsula with the exception of building permits that have already been approved by the Department of Buildings. The “innovative saltbox design” houses designed by mail-order architects are popping up all over the peninsula. The buildings are not pretty and there seems to be a problem finding renters. Enough is enough. Building roadways that support all the increased traffic should be Rockaway’s number one priority. As a matter of fact, Beach Channel Drive is slowly collapsing. How about reinstating this road before it becomes a sinkhole and Beach Channel High School falls in?

Secondly, I was dismayed over the weekend to find out that a house that was just sold less than a year ago is back on the market for $300,000 more than the new owners paid. This new neighborhood disease is known as “flipping” thanks to all the hundreds of real estate agents who’ve crawled out from under their rocks canvassing Rockaway. There seems to be a big problem in our neighborhood and it’s called greed. For many years when someone was contemplating to sell their home, they would use word of mouth, contacting their local yeshiva, church or community organization hoping that someone in the community’s son or daughter or perhaps a young couple raising their family would be interested. We now have people purchasing houses to flip in a few months. They are not buying to enjoy our beautiful beaches, ocean breezes or spectacular sunsets. They are interested in one thing – money. I would love for my children and their friends to have the opportunity to purchase a home in Rockapoco however, the prices are making it impossible for a first time buyer to settle here. The only “flipper” I’d like to see is a dolphin jumping out of the ocean.

Recently I heard of an incident where the prospective buyer and seller of a property in Rockaway were not honestly represented by their real estate agent. The agent added in her own “personal finder’s fee” besides her percentage claiming the seller wanted “a cash good faith payment.” Fortunately, the buyer discovered the real price of the house before they went to contract. The real estate agent also suffers from the same disease called “greed.”

Finally, let me finish with the wonderful topic: parking. Yes, parking can be an occasional inconvenience but we deal with it. Period! I am also assuming that local real estate agents have not been advising prospective buyers of the summer parking regulations. It seems that people who have purchased homes on the west end are annoyed about the parking regulations which have been in effect for many years without complaints. If the newcomers did their homework as well, they could have had made the decision, not to buy in paradise due to restricted parking or perhaps limiting themselves to 2 cars per family.

Rockaway is unique. Let’s keep it that way. See you on the beach.


Better Swimming Education

Dear Editor,

In response to last weekend’s tragic drowning in Rockaway, it has become obvious to me that the Rockaway community is not doing enough to educate the people on drowning prevention and water safety. Having grown up in Breezy Point, it seems that each summer at least one drowning incident occurs that could have been prevented. 

I’ve spent the last two years as a swimming instructor for SwimJim Inc. an organization dedicated to teaching aquatic skills and water safety.  In addition, SwimJim is affiliated with Swim For Life (www.swimforlife.com) and The Safer 3, organizations dedicated to proactively implementing drowning prevention. 

I think it’s time for the Rockaway community to begin educating both parents and children on water safety and drowning prevention. Please let me know who I can contact to discuss the implementation of such a program in Rockaway, as these tragedies are preventable through proper education.


Where Are The Tickets

For Littering?

Dear Editor,

On Sunday night, my husband and I decided to take a nice bike ride on the boardwalk around dusk. What we saw was shocking.

From about Beach 96 Street to Beach 86 Street, it looked like there had been a war.

Though nobody was left on the beach besides a few stragglers, the entire sand and most of the boardwalk was covered with trash, and I’m not talking about a few straw wrappers and napkins. Dirty diapers, socks, donut boxes, plastic bags, bottles... we had to literally steer our bikes around these items like some sick obstacle course. Down on the sand there was not a square yard that wasn’t covered with litter —  there were even a few bed sheets left behind. The whole scene was heartbreaking, and unbelievable.

My question is, are the cops even issuing tickets for littering? Why is

there ANY tolerance for this kind of behavior? What can we, as residents,

do to stop the people who have no respect for our beach (and evidently, no

respect for themselves)?


Senior Citizen Parking

Dear Editor,

I have lived in the same apartment for 33 years and parked in the same parking spot for 33 years.

Two years ago, my daughter bought me a new car. She put a down payment on it and financed the rest. Until the car is paid in full nothing can be changed. My name and her name are on both the insurance card and registration. My daughter did a lovely thing which is turning disastrous for me.

There is a new rule that every car parked in the parking lot has to have the Ocean Park address on the registration and insurance card.

I am 73 years old and will need cataract surgery in July – also possible surgery on my right knee may have to be scheduled. I need a safe place to park. I cannot walk around the area every time I use my car, especially in the evening. This is not safe.

My only solution to this problem after living here happily for 33 years is to move. Because of a parking rule which has not been enforced here since the buildings were built approximately 36 years ago. I have to uproot myself at the age of 73.

This is pathetic and outrageous.


Carousel Help

Dear Editor,

The following letter was sent to The Wave by Historical Views columnist, Emil Lucev.

Hey old timers out there in Waveland, yours truly is looking for any and all information, and maybe a copy of a picture or two, of an old, old Rockaway Beach institution that adorned the Seaside Amusement are and Rockaway’s Playland between 1914 and 1960.

That institution was (and in many memories still is) Mr. William Nunley’s giant four abreast carousel, with the outside horsies that went up and down to aid in catching the brass ring for a free ride. Along with all this, the carousel organ played many of the old tunes and marches that were popular at the time. To supplement this small Wurlitzer carousel organ, located in the center of the rotating twenty-section carousel, which had a diameter of almost fifty feet, a giant German built organ supplied great music to the patrons when the carousel was not running.

This giant band organ was originally inside a carousel building next to the old Central Hotel on Beach 103 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. As far as is known, the Central Hotel was sold in 1912, after the original owner died, to William and Frank Brunner and George Griepenkerl – all local businessmen. The hotel and carousel were noted in an atlas corrected to 1926. In 1946, Seaside reformed the Wainright and Smith Amusement Company, in the hopes of reviving an amusement section, that was destroyed by Robert Moses in 1937 for his Shore Front Parkway construction. A carousel was installed between Beach 102 and 103 Street, but where the ride came from was not mentioned. Did it come from the old Central Hotel near the boulevard and installed near the beach with other kiddie rides? At the same time or year, an old employee of the Nunley family, Joseph Freely, related to me that Nunley had become the new owner of the giant band organ. In 1951, the organ went out to Nunley’s Happyland Amusement Park in Bethpage, Long Island.

How Nunley came into possession is not known, and this is needed to complete the historical record for this German built band organ.

A photograph taken in 1949 showed the old Central Hotel in Irishtown, Rockaway Beach. But the place was now known as Innisfail’s Ballroom. In order to have a ballroom, the old carousel building (I hope) adjoining the hotel was converted to a ballroom for dancing. In later years Robert Moses, once again, tore out the heart of Irishtown for title 1 housing.

Now to all the lads and lassies who still keep the faith, test your memories and send me your reminisces of “The Old Sod” here in Rockaway Beach. Erin go bragh!


Recycling Laws Need


Dear Editor,

There are currently two proposals before the State Legislature that address litter and recycling. One expands the bottle law, places a deposit on every beverage product except wine and milk, and will force consumers to take back more than 200 types of containers to the grocery store if they want their money back.

The other simply repeals the bottle deposit law, allows beverage waste to be recycled at curbside where it should be, and imposes a small tax on all commercial litter generators to help municipalities recycle and dispose of litter.

The first proposal will result in nothing more than higher beverage prices and dirty grocery stores. The second is consumer friendly and consistent with curbside recycling that didn’t exist when the bottle law was first enacted.

Everything changes and so should the bottle law. New York consumers don’t need to be financially penalized to recycle. Given the chance, we can do it at the curb just like 40 other states.

I urge citizens to call their legislators and tell them to support bills A.8522/S.5500 and bring recycling in New York into the 21st Century.




Post Office Fails Resident

Dear Editor,

The following letter was sent to the Postmaster General of the United States, John Potter.

I do not receive all my mail. This is an ongoing problem. I first reported it to post office management at the Beach 90 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard to a Mr. Norris on September 28, 2004. Mr. Norris offered no assistance.

I then reported it to the National Post Office Customer Relations office on October 9, 2004. I was given a confirmation number and no other assistance.

On May 24, 2005, 7800 Shore Front Parkway, a building that 260+ families call home, did not have daily mail delivery.

Mr. Potter – will you assist me?


Peninsula Hospital

Dear Editor,

Regarding the article submitted by Kathryn Gordon concerning her “misfortune” to have stayed at Peninsula Hospital. My first question is why did she stay on “several different occasions?” If after her first time, why didn’t she go elsewhere? And, I also wonder if she realizes where she would have to travel in an emergency to get help if she didn’t have Peninsula. Perhaps people who do not see all the benefits they have locally may need a little bit more than physical help. An attitude adjustment on her part would be very helpful to an early recovery. And, may I ask, where was her doctor when she had to sign herself out?

I am not affiliated with the hospital in anyway, but I was a patient several years ago and still cannot praise them enough.


Historical Insight

Dear Editor,

The photo on the bottom of Page 20 of the current Wave is of marchers on Beach 95 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard towards Beach 94 Street. I lived in the second house from the left. The Auer family lived in the house on the left behind the concession stand and ran that stand until the late 1960’s to the early 1970’s. He also owned many bungalows off the beach area of Beach 95 and 96 Streets.

The second house from the left was 95-07 and was owned by local lawyer Seymour Frank, who has since passed on. It’s difficult to identify the other stores and houses because I don’t know in which decade this picture was taken, but I would venture a guess of the 1950’s or 1960’s. I lived in said house from 1960 to 1967 and the scenery seems to be from around then.


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