2005-09-16 / Letters


Thanks For Support On Hooks Family Day

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank everyone who came out and supported the Hooks Family Day on September 3, 2005. This was an exciting and memorable event. The performers were great and more importantly the children and their parents enjoyed themselves.

Thanks to District Leader Robert Simmons, NAACP’s Ed Williams and Democratic Candidate for City Council, David R. Hooks, Jr., for the support in putting this day together. See you next year!


Different Plans For Rockaway Park

Dear Editor,

I want to compliment you on your writing skills. You have the uncanny ability to tie in John Baxter, the Baxter Hotel and its residents as the root causes of whatever is wrong with whatever you’re writing about at that moment. At some point, though, you’re going to have to admit to an obsession against all things John Baxter-related and seek psychiatric counseling. In the meantime, let’s play devil’s advocate.

Let’s say that John Baxter has a momentary lapse of reasoning and gives in to all the falsehoods, threats and dirty tricks. He sells out to the Russians, thereby making you and the other voices of destruction ecstatic. What have you achieved? Well, let’s call it:

Plan A-The Russians building everything on Beach 116 Street, from the boardwalk to Newport Avenue, thereby closing and dislodging all the merchants on the street. These buildings and stores are replaced by as many upscale condos as the revised zoning laws allow. They all resemble the Ocean Grande, the looming monstrosity currently under construction as Phase I. Maybe some upscale retail space on the ground floor. That’s it. No diversity, no creativity, zip, nada, zilch. Totally out of character with the entire community.

Or, you can stop and think about it for a moment. Rockaway Park is a neighborhood on the verge of becoming “something.” It is also a neighborhood rich in history. The Baxter Hotel dates back to 1837, oddly enough, the same year Tiffany’s was founded. The Rockaway Hotel, the Park Theatre and the Park Inn all date to the early 1900s. And all were a central part of Rockaway in its hey day. In fact, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. stayed at the Park Inn when they performed at the Park Theatre. Why be in a rush to tear it down? Why not consider:

Plan B- Preserve and modernize what’s already there and build upon it. The Hotel Lawrence would make a great bed and breakfast. The front section of the Park Theatre is perfect for a seafood restaurant, like the old Lundy’s in Sheepshead Bay. And the Park Inn could easily be converted into a “retro” hotel or apartments. Then the city builds a pier…and I think the current “zig-zag” parking is just fine. It gives the street character.

My guess is that you are a lifelong Rockaway resident. As such, you are well aware that Rockaway Park and the surrounding neighborhood have a longstanding history of having and preserving that “small town” community feel. So, my question to you is this: would you rather take your grandson on a walk thru Starbuck’s, or would you rather take your grandson on the pier to go fishing?


Thanks For A/C Article For Adult Homes

Dear Editor,

As an adult home resident in the Rockaways, I would like to thank you and The Wave for printing the article in the August 19 issue on page 10, concerning air-conditioning for all of the residents of the adult homes in New York State. I myself have a few medical problems; high blood pressure, bronchial asthma and I am hypothyroid as well.

If I did not have air-conditioning myself then I would probably be in the local emergency room a few times every summer.

I find it very hard to believe that the Department of Health does not feel it is important enough to require that the State of New York demand adult homes have air-conditioning the same way they require nursing homes to have it for their residents.

I hope that people will not look at air-conditioning as a luxury only for those people who can afford to pay for it themselves. Adult home residents are taken to the emergency room to receive treatments for the heat and humidity that takes a toll on their bodies, or worse yet, the stress of the heat and humidity is too much to tolerate sometimes.

I hope that there are not any people who really feel that way!

Also, thank you very much to Assemblywoman Michele Titus and local council member James Sanders, Jr. for their interest in the adult home air-conditioning meeting that was at the Sorrentino Recreation center in Far Rockaway, hosted by the Coalition of the Institutionalized, Aged and Disabled (CIAD), of which I am a member myself.


Leaving Democratic Party

Dear Editor;

After reading the letters in the Friday, August 26.2005 issue of The Wave, particularly the one named “SUPPORT FOR SANDERS,” I have to agree with Timothy Aaron-Styles.

Are we Democrats living in a dictatorship when party members are told by party leader Juanita Watkins that if they do not carry David Hooks’ partition to be put on the ballot, their application to work the polls would not be sent, To the Board of Election.

It is because of people like Watkins and Bob Simmons that so many people are leaving the party.


Mr. Styles, Are You A Veteran?

Dear Editor,

We urge Timothy Aaron-Styles to research the V.F.W. It is evident that your knowledge of the organization is limited. If there were parties going on, as you say, they were to raise money to further the work of the V.F.W.

We suggest you visit the Veteran’s Hospital in St. Alban’s, and talk to the veterans confined to that place. They will tell you all about the V.F.W. and the fine services given to them.

Mr. Hooks (who is a veteran) has worked long and hard to bring about the only African-American post in the Rockaways. I’m sure it will last forever as long as there are wars going on.

It requires leadership skills to maintain this type of work.






Campaign Finance Problems

Dear Editor,

  Diligent voters may like to review the campaign contributions that our local candidates received. Unfortunately the campaign finance database for Councilmember James Sanders Jr. became available too late for most voters to examine before voting in the primary election.

I found the Contribution/Donation Public Disclosure Report online this week. We noted the Councilmember received $36,350 from companies and individuals who appear to be part of the construction industry, while only $1,900 appear to be from residents of the Rockaway portion of the district. (11691, 11692, 11693)

Voters must consider the pressures on their legislators from this imbalance in contributions. The public finance system that is supposed to allow legislators to use small contributions from community residents and matching city funds did not work. We hope that vigorous representation for the residents of the community will not be compromised.

To be fair to both candidates in this race, I checked the Disclosure Report for David Hooks Jr. his opponent. The current listing shows that he received only one contribution of $100. Since the expenditures reported are many times that, it must be incomplete.

Good government groups, most Democrats and some Republicans (McCain-Feingold) have fought for campaign finance reform on the national level. We must practice it on the local level.


Needs Legal Advice From Wave Readers

Dear Editor,

For several months, I served as power of attorney representing a critically ill resident of Matthew Sofa Apartments (DBA 113 Rock Corporation). As such, I paid the tenant’s monthly rent in a timely manner, to secure the resident’s apartment while he was hospitalized in intensive care. Upon the tenant’s demise, I was advised by Matthew Sofa management that all personal effects were “missing” from said apartment.

Would one of The Wave readers please advise what recourse we have?


Sanders Still The Best

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to last week’s letter in The Wave sent by Angelique Reid.

For the sake of the argument, I shall agree with you: David Hooks was a “back seat driver for many years…” Well, there are those who are most effective as “backside drivers” and there are those who are destined to be, if not great leaders, then highly effective leaders. David Hooks might be the former but James Sanders is definitely the latter. As a “back seat driver,” Hooks should be doing what he does best: operating behind the scenes and supporting Rockaway’s own City Councilman James Sanders. Maybe that’s his greatest asset, serving as political consultant and advisor. 

Still, this “back seat driver” status is not a qualifying credential for serving as a City Council member. If that were the case, there are a whole lot of people out there who should be running for office.

And, ask yourself this question; do the majority of the people in Rockaway feel that those elected officials that David Hooks influenced, as you refer to, served them (the constituents) well?

Now you say that, “…Mr. Hooks may not have given a detailed plan for what he will do once elected…” Well, that’s it—nothing else needs to be said! He doesn’t have a plan? Well, wait—let me get this right. He doesn’t have a plan and you say: “…neither has the current Councilman..”? You’re joking, right? Councilman Sanders is Councilman. He has the seat. He has the access to other council members and the honorable Mayor. He is the chair of the Economic Development Committee. And you’re suggesting that we kick him out and put someone else in who “doesn’t have a detailed plan”? Think hard about that and if you’ve never considered the real meaning of the phrase, access to power,” think about it now.

Two of James Sanders’ pre-Council accomplishments are: the Farmers Market and P.U.L.L.— and you know his greatest value? His greatest attributes? The integrity of the life he led prior to serving in the Council, intelligence and his vision.

Sanders obviously has a plan. I don’t think he could have beaten the political machinery if he weren’t an astute political strategist. By the way, he was successfully elected to political office on his first and only attempt. Oh, I’m sorry—his independent spirit that will not allow him to be anybody’s “lackey.” That’s another of his strength’s and qualifications. Oh, make no mistake about it—he is a team player but he’s not going to sell his soul or sell out his community. And please, don’t question the man’s integrity unless you’re willing to go “point for point” on that one, and I think his work and his life, as the old gospel song says, will “speak for him.”

You asked, “Where is the proof that Councilman Sanders has contributed positively to his community as a whole and not just to his personal friends and supporters?” Well, I ask you, “where is the evidence—where is the enduring proof of what David Hooks has contributed to the community as a whole and not just to HIS personal friends and supporters? David Hooks has been “present” in the community for 30+ years—point me to the indisputable, unquestionable, tangible evidence that HE is qualified NOW to effectively serve as a political leader in the corridors of City Hall.


Manhattanite Thanks

Rockaway Locals

Dear Editor,

A few Sundays ago I was slammed to the ocean’s floor by one of Hurricane Irene’s waves at the beach on Beach 129 Street. I was ambulanced to Peninsula Hospital with my bloody nose and bruised upper arm. I want to thank all of the good, wonderful people of Rockaway who helped me on the beach (with special mention given to a Dr. Horowitz on the beach, and an anonymous little girl who gave the EMS guys a little seashell to give to me in the ambulance en route to the hospital).

I got off lucky, folks, just a bruised nose and stretched tendon in the upper left arm. Both are healing slowly but nicely. I look forward to seeing you all next summer. I’m always impressed with how clean the beaches and water are in the 120’s. You people are a welcome change from the frenzied, neurotic bunch in Manhattan I have to say.


Good Samaritans Help Local Resident

Dear Editor,

I am a senior citizen, and on the morning of August 25, 2005, I was on my way to Duane Reade on 116 Street and Beach Channel Drive when I fell in front of the Sunoco gas station. A very nice gentleman helped me to my feet.

Thinking I just scraped my hand and cheek, I went on to Duane Reade. Two very nice cashier ladies offered me tissues to clean my face and hand. They insisted on taking me to the back of the store. The manager and the two young ladies (I didn’t get any names) got peroxide and band-aids for me. They called my daughter, and she took me to Peninsula Hospital. It turns out I broke a bone in my hand.

I went back to thank the people in Duane Reade. I just wanted the people in the community to know how kind these people were to me. I also want to thank the very nice gentleman who helped me up. I hope he sees this and knows I appreciated his help very much.


The Gecko Can’t

Help Us Now

Dear Editor,

After getting a few bad breaks recently, I finally got some good news. I’m going to be saving a bunch of money on my car insurance by selling my car and taking the bus.


Storm Surge

Protection Needed

Dear Editor,

In light of Hurricane Katrina’s impact, the 1960’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Plan for a levee installation across the mouth of Jamaica Bay should be reviewed. Dutch experts can be brought in.

Furthermore, the Long Beach-approved plan for a 20-foot high dune construction along the beach can be applied to Rockaway for storm surge protection, with the increasing residential development taking place.


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