2005-08-25 / Letters


Wave Irresponsible

And Unethical

Dear Editor,

It is absolutely incredible how irresponsible and unethical you are as “journalists” when you print a story like the one Miriam Rosenberg wrote on development around Beach 3 Street. You have an obligation to leave your opinions on the editorial pages where they belong instead of slanting your stories with the obvious bias that this amateur reporter has way too much of.

Did Rosenberg mention that she is a close friend of the few isolated residents that have been complaining? Does she mention that she spends many hours in their homes on a regular basis? The obstructionist residents in the area are motivated only by demographics and are trying to keep their neighborhood of ramshackle decrepit bungalows from diversifying.

As a matter of fact, there has been a swastika prominently on display on Beach 4 Street for over a year, yet you will not hear these residents complaining about the impact of that on their neighborhood. Nor will you read about that in Miriam Rosenberg’s poorly written article.

The fact is that additional affordable housing is sorely needed in the area and the Mott Creek area is one of the last areas with vacant land for development. The developers are investing tens of millions of dollars into an area that has been neglected and depressed for decades. Boarded up and rat infested abandoned bungalows are being replaced with brand new affordable homes which creates housing opportunities for the community, hundreds of construction jobs, increased tax revenue to the city, and of course will beautify what is now an area sorely in need of some help. In summation, you should keep your “reporter’s” misguided and biased opinion on the editorial pages or better yet in the trash.


Letter Of Thanks For Farmers’ Market Help

This letter was sent to City Councilman James Sanders Jr.

Dear Hon. City Councilman James Sanders Jr.,

I wish to personally thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to visit our “Hamer-Campos Farmers’ Market” at PS 42 Q. We of this community thank you, not only for your recent visit on August 13, but for your foresight in the development of such an institution to provide the much needed fresh fruit and vegetables for those who suffer “food insecurity.” We thank you for giving members of our community an opportunity for economic development and youth entrepreneurship by providing discretionary funds and resources for PULL, Inc. and the Hamer-Campos Farmers’ Market. We wish you the best and our prayers are with you,



Praise For Peninsula Hospital’s Staff

Dear Editor,

I just wanted to say that I had an X-ray done today at Peninsula Hospital, and the technician that works on the X-rays was very kind, and always makes sure that I am all right during the test.

Peninsula Hospital is one of the best hospital centers in the Rockaways. They take their time and explain things to you.


Response To

‘Frustrated’ Biker

Dear Editor,

This is in response to the letter, in the August 12 issue of The Wave, “Frustrated and Hassled Biker,” by Jamie Darrigan. As a person who frequently walks on the Rockaway Park and Belle Harbor sidewalks, my problem with cyclists is they pass you cycling very fast, particularly the kids and teenagers, without giving any warning. I was knocked down once by a very small child-thank God no one was hurt! More than once I have had a narrow escape.

My solution is very simple: every bike should have a bell, and children should be taught to use the bell when passing walkers, just like they wear helmets for their own safety! And of course it goes without saying all adults should practice the same courtesy when using the sidewalks.


Sprucing Up The ‘Gateway To The Rockaways’

Dear Editor,

What would Robert Moses say and do if the power broker saw the condition of the Jamaica Bay seawall and adjoining park, located between the Marine Parkway Bridge and Neponsit? Would he be appalled that the “Gateway to the Rockaways,” the National Park Service has allowed the condition to deteriorate to such an extent that the safety of the “day-trippers,” fisherman and cyclists are at risk?

At a minimum within existing resources the Park Service can provide garbage receptacles, repair broken benches and repair the sidewalks.

The rehabilitation of the seawall and fencing should be in their capital budget request. I have contacted Congressman Weiner’s office, the Director of the Breezy Point section of the National Parks Service and Lew Simon. Phone calls to all three representatives from Rockaway residents would certainly help.

Moses wouldn’t wait; he would have crews out tomorrow.


Local Resident Remembered Fondly

Dear Editor,

Rockaway Beach lost a gentle, kind man this past summer. His name was Denis J. Sullivan and he passed away suddenly at Peninsula Hospital on July 20. He was 67 years old. He never married, never had children of his own, but was a loving, caring godfather to our daughter Kelly, and a member of our family for nearly 25 years.

The fact that Denis lived to be 67 was a miracle in itself. You see, Denis walked into a propeller of an airplane in the early 70s. He was an airmail carrier at Kennedy Airport, and on a stormy night the pilot started the plane not knowing that Denis was running to put the last bag of mail onto it. Badly mutilated, he was taken to the hospital, received last rites and his family was told he wouldn’t live through the night. But God wasn’t ready for Denis that night, and after thirty-one grueling operations, mostly due to skin grafts, he was sent home missing an eye and several fingers.

Following the accident, what impressed everyone who met Denis was his zest for life and his wonderful sense of humor. He was a religious man who kept his rosary beads by his phone. Three years ago, Denis was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, a debilitating spinal disease that caused him to lose the feeling in the only good hand he had and in both of his legs. The last two years of his life he was confined to a wheelchair. It never bothered him that he was now unable to take his daily walks on the boardwalk or walk to church each morning.

He loved Rockaway and its beautiful beach, but he never complained, saying that he could still see the beach from his apartment terrace. His humor was evident in his outgoing messages from his answering machine. One could only smile when listening to any one of his silly messages. If he were home, he would answer his phone saying, “Denis J is here!” as if he was at his place of business. But as I think about this now, I realize that he was conducting a sort of business from his wheelchair in his apartment. His business was to make others feel good about themselves. He was never short on advice if you asked for it.

Denis J. Sullivan was a kind, gentle man and his friends and family will miss him forever. Rockaway did indeed lose one of its best.


More Recognition For Volunteer Firefighters

Dear Editor,

At this time when 9/11 is soon coming up, we would like to say that we not only lost many city firefighters, but also had many volunteer firefighters and rescue people get hurt and sick. We feel the City of New York has slighted not only us but the honored members of the FDNY by the actions of the Mayor and his Commissioner.

Why is it that the Mayor appointed a person who knows nothing about the firefighters, and who only knows how to insult his department by closing firehouses, taking men off of trucks (causing danger to the communities), by not allowing firefighters to honor their ethnicities in parades, and by insulting the FDNY in general. It is all OK by the Mayor.

The Mayor has seen fit not to recognize the many dedicated volunteer firefighters in this city, who give of themselves 24/7 so others may live. We are the Association of Auxiliary and Volunteer Firefighters. We have been in service to the city, state and country for over 25 years, and some of us have been volunteer firefighters and rescue people for over 40 years. We feel that we are due some sort of respect from this city and state.

This city administration has done nothing at all to work with and support all the dedicated volunteer people in this city; they have acted like they could care less. An example of this is the fact that it is mandated by federal law that there must be an auxiliary fire program, and that millions of dollars are sent to the FDNY each year for this program. Where is the money going? Why is it that the NYPD Auxiliary gets whatever it wishes while there is not an active auxiliary fire program? Let the city answer that question if they care, since the city and state have seen fit to cause trouble for honest volunteers.

Due to this problem, after 25 years of service to this city, we must change our official name from the Volunteer Emergency Disaster Services to the International Volunteer Disaster Services. If we re-sign with FEMA and the DHLs, we might get a better shot of recognition from the Feds then we ever for from this city and state.


For A Rockaway Ferry

The following letter was sent to Department of Transportation Commissioner Weinshall.

Dear Commissioner Weinshall:

I am writing to discuss Rockaway’s proposed ferry service, a news item discussed in the August 6th New York Times Rockaway Ferry Plan Faces Doubts About Overall Costs”, an article in which you and Congressman Anthony Weiner were quoted early and often.  I’m writing to offer you a counter-proposition.

My family moved to New York City as Colonel Roebling was completing his spectacular and magnificent link between two great cities.  At that time people commuted over the water and on the rails. Commuting over the water from the Rockaways to Manhattan should be revived, Madame Commissioner, in full view of the successful resurgence of ferry service up and down the Eastern shore of the United States.

As you and the Mayor stress, this service (or any service, for that matter) must be practical, coherent and economically feasible.  If a Rockaway ferry actually kicked off from JFK - stopping just once at the Gateway Ferry Landing - it would meet, I believe, your conditions of practicality, coherence and economics while offering a unique and slick 40 minute ride to Manhattan for (a) our Rockaway resident commuters, (b) the international airport’s traveling business commuters and (c) millions of NYC tourists.

The choice would be theirs...90 minutes up the Van Wyck or 40 minutes over Jamaica Bay.  Imagine the delight for our touristing millions passing by the Rockaway Peninsula, thru the Narrows and into NYC harbor!

In only the broadest of terms I’ve discussed this proposal with Jet Blue, and - much to my surprise - this commuter option has been discussed among their strategy people over the years.  Unfortunately, no carrier ever presented Jet Blue with a concrete proposal and long-term plan that ever made sense.

I understand, Madame Commissioner, ferry service from JFK to Manhattan - although brilliant - would require cooperation among a series of city, state and federal agencies...not an easy task!  Knowing full well, though, the character and mettle of the NYC DOT administrative staff, am sure that, if the Mayor prioritized such an initiative, barriers among agencies would evaporate.

I sincerely hope you will look into this for our sake and for the sake of NY’s millions of tourists.


Support For Sanders

Dear Editor,

Is there any truth to the rumor that the Honorable Congressman Gregory Meeks is implying support for Councilman James Sanders? If so, then what does that tell you? Well, one thing that tells me is James Sanders is the obvious and only real choice for City Council.

Point number two: isn’t it time that Juanita Watkins and Bob Simmons be replaced as District Leaders? It’s either old grudges or lack of vision that made them not endorse James Sanders in the first place. And God knows, it’s time out for grudges. Surely it’s not incompetence or lack of credentials because James Sanders ranks very highly in both. Give him another term and watch him grow into the next Floyd Flake and Gregory Meeks.

Third point: doesn’t the endorsement of David Hooks by Watkins and Simmons indicate they’re either being out of touch with the political realities of the day or their political incompetence? Think about it: would not the endorsement of the Democratic incumbent, who is the chair of the City Council’s Economic Development committee, have struck a victorious blow for the Democratic Party-the ailing Democratic party? Their endorsement of Sanders would have demonstrated the party’s commitment to solidarity and the willingness to heal rifts for the sake of the party; it’s constituents, the voters and the community.

Instead, their endorsement, their anti-Sanders vote, shows one of the many reasons why so many black folks are abandoning the Party for perceived greener pastures elsewhere. Petty politics and misguided political decisions.

It makes sense to keep James Sanders in because he is the most competent, the most qualified and the most unblemished candidate. James Sanders is a Rockawayite and the chair of one of the most prestigious, powerful and significant City Council committees.

What doesn’t make sense is the misguided notion to remove him because he requests that you put your request for his assistance in writing. It’s called documentation. Thank God he is a political servant who understands, appreciated and adheres to documentation, protocol and organization. It would be totally unprofessional for him to conduct his affairs otherwise.


Initiative Needed From

City Council Members

Dear Editor,

Where has David Hooks been over the last 25-year period? The last 25 years, where the decline and deprivation of the Black Rockaway community was at its peak? When drugs, poverty, crime and self-imposed immoral behavior began to consume so many of the people we know and love- can anyone document Hooks’ activities that would demonstrate his involvement to combat or thwart those ugly monsters that helped destroy our beloved Rockaway?

What concrete projects or initiatives has he been involved in that contributed to the positive transformation or upliftment of the entire Rockaway community over the last 15 years? What organization did he establish, or even significantly work with, that actually realized any accomplishments were self-empowerment or economic development for Black people?

I’m sorry but the former VFW where he was involved was not, and is not, the type of institution that serves as the “shining example” of what the types of institutions the community needs nor does it serve as the prime example of the kind of management skills necessary for Hooks to be able to effectively serve in the Council. The VFW, for the most part, as run down as it was, was a place for “good parties,” much like the Elks Lodge in Far Rockaway. It did not serve as a center of social progress, educational initiative or economic development.

As for helping certain individuals with GED’s and jobs-well, I can name a lot of people in Rockaway who did that and continue to do that. Does that mean they are qualified to service effectively in City Hall? Methinks not. It clearly indicates one or two things about any individual who does good things for people: a good heart or ulterior motives. Based on these two qualifiers, everybody in Rockaway should now throw their hats into the ring for City Council.

A vote for David Hooks, whom I love and respect as a person, is a vote for the same political establishment that has either helped to contribute to the overall depressive conditions prevalent in Rockaway due to their inactions and lack of innovative progressive programs and initiative. Do your research and see that most, if not all, of your elected officials who served from 1980 until now, were supported and helped in some way by David Hooks.

See, there would be no real need for jobs, economic development, etc. had those elected officials serving BEFORE James Sanders had done what they were supposed to do. And right done besides them, behind them and in the dark crevices of their smallest closets, were David Hooks and the “leaders” of the Thurgood Marshall Democratic Club. Change, you say? James Sanders is the change from the historical status quo. A vote against Sanders would be yet another self-inflicted wound and self-destructive act whose negative impact would reach 20 years into our collective future.


Go For The Super A Train

The following letter was sent to Congressman Anthony Weiner.

Dear Congressman Weiner,

I recently moved to Rockaways so you are my rep, and I knew you from when I lived in Forest Hills for 15 years prior to the move.

For me to vote for you for mayor, please consider scrapping the ferry idea for the Rockaways, but instead run the Super-A express, open up the

old Rockaway LIRR line and call it the K line, extend the AirTrain from Howard Beach all the way to Manhattan, and extend the E from lower Manhattan to Jamaica. That would help so many areas of Queens!

The Ferry won’t work because it will stop in areas that no one from Rockaway will travel to! What a bus that takes 20 minutes to catch will bring you to the Riis parking lot and get on another shuttle to take you to the Ferry. Then the Ferry will come once an hour and then the passenger will have to take a bus or subway when getting off in Manhattan.  How is that either fast or convenient?

Please re-consider. The Ferry is a joke and please don’t be the joker.

There is money for the JFK Lower Manhattan project as well as the $15million for the Rockaway Ferry and I hope when you become mayor you help create better transportation in the Rockaways and Queens and we can then call you “Weiner, the new Robert Moses,” who put Rockaway back on the map.

Please consider the Super-A Express train as an option for immediate service from Manhattan to Lower Manhattan to Downtown Brooklyn and straight to JFK in 26 minutes and further onto to the Rockaways.


The travelers need more trains coming regularly. If the Super-A comes in between the 15 minute wait for the Far Rockaway A at the Howard Beach JFK stop, that would increase the amount of service from JFK to Lower Manhattan by 200%. Currently travelers can wait up to 25 minutes during non-rush hours.

The Super-A would be the fastest connection (26 minutes from Hoyt Street to JFK Howard Beach A Station).

No new infrastructure would be needed.

When can this be done? As soon as the schedule is agreed on, trains are dispatched, and conductors are hired.

Who would this be good for? All New Yorkers coming from any area of the 5 boroughs that is going on a trip via JFK airport as well as all JFK workers that live in any area of the 5 boroughs of New York City. In addition, all travelers visiting New York City can take this Super-A or Regular-A every 10 minutes going to Manhattan

This would also promote the JFK, Aqueduct, and Beaches of the Rockaway as the trains will get there more often and faster.

Why not reopen the line?

I have heard that the MTA testing of the Super-A says that only 9 minutes is reduced and feel not worth the project. If you think about it the trip was 35 minutes. That is not a long trip but it seems like it because the long wait for the train and the amount of frequent stops. The Super-A will change the perception as then the A trains will come twice as often as the Super-A will make limited stops.

Is there a budget?

Lets use some of the money for the Lower Manhattan-JFK project. Whatever is being build, it will take almost a decade and the time to get to JFK from Lower Manhattan will be close to 26 minutes or longer than the Super-A idea.

So, lets do it!

Get the SUPER-A NOW! And have the other projects start right away.

There is a better chance now than when Mark Green ran for mayor (he was the worst of all!) I like you and would vote if you make a better decision on the Rockaway transportation issue.


Outrage Over The Iraq War

Dear Editor,

I’ve anticipated writing this letter for quite awhile. I’m not affiliated with any political party, not do I endorse any religious sect or radical groups I’m a Vietnam Vet who feels compelled to speak out about the injustice going on in our country. It’s hard to determine where the truth lies, with the constant barrage of deception, manipulation, propaganda and spin put forth by our own government.

The press conferences the President infrequently gives are by handpicked reporters, the questions are prearranged, and even the order in which he chooses the reporters is scripted. Then there’s the scripted news reports. An actor comes on reporting a news story with a script advocating a view the administration wants the public to perceive. The town hall meetings around the country are attended by people whose views have got to be with the current policies, or you cannot attend. I guess the lines, “either you’re with us or against us” include most Americans too.

The alternative tax, which has been postponed the last two years, will be in effect this year. People making over $75,000 will be hit hard, while people making millions will continue to benefit. This will definitely bring the deficit down. That’s when we’ll see the push to make the tax cuts permanent, because the middle class will be footing the bill. The gap between the very rich and everyone else has never been greater. The inequality is the largest it’s ever been in our history.

The price of gas has hit record levels. The big oil companies are recording the biggest profits since their existence. So in the energy bill that just passed, there are big tax deductions that will give them billions more. Holy Halliburton, what is going on here?

After 9/11 we had the sympathy and support of the whole world. We squandered it away with arrogance and aggression. The despicable acts of 9/11 caused the loss of loved ones and broke our hearts. All indications pointed to Afghanistan, where these low-life cowards were hiding. So we limit our troop strength there and invade Iraq. Why is there still doubt the intelligence used to justify this war was twisted and manipulated? The biological babble, the mushroom cloud, the WMDs were a smokescreen for another agenda. We walked into Baghdad virtually unopposed. We found they couldn’t grow mushrooms in their own backyards, never mind creating mushroom clouds.

Our President lands on an aircraft carrier three miles offshore and declares, “Mission accomplished.” I’m surprised he didn’t wear pearl-handled six guns and taunted our enemies with his infamous line, “Bring it on.” President Bush defends the Iraq War, but the reality is evident that his bravado has made the world more perilous. How much further will our country sink? The prison torture, the deficit, Karl Rove’s treachery, recruiting shortages, Pat Robertson…it goes on and on.

Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son Casey in Iraq, is asking a very relevant question: “What is the noble cause my son died for?” With other parents who have lost children joining her, the protest against the war will start to escalate. The similarity to Vietnam is remarkable.

When I returned from Vietnam in 1970, there was an anti-war protest going on at the airport. As I walked by this group, some gave me the finger while others screamed insults. My biggest fear is that our returning troops will be subjected to the same misplaced outrage. The courageous, patriotic and brave men and women returning home don’t deserve that. Welcome them, pat them on the back, embrace them and make them feel appreciated. Don’t add resentment into the horror that is sure to invade their dreams.


Residents Left Out Of

On-Line Offers

Dear Editor,

I would like to speak out to those companies and businesses that only offer free giveaways, contests, opportunities and merchandise on-line.

Not everyone can afford a computer. It’s expensive equipment, and it’s more than some people’s rent. The libraries only have a limited amount within a limited time, and a lot of people waiting to use it. We all can’t get to the library by the time we get off work, because the library is closed by then. This is unfair to people who would like to order products or participate in contests offered. Are these people computer profiling? Do they only seek out computer owners, with the thought in mind that if one can afford a computer they are above low-income status? What is with available on-line only?

We may not be able to afford the computer, but we can afford some of the products they offer and can benefit from promotions and contests. Discrimination sure carries in many ways.


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