2005-09-30 / Letters


Did It Themselves

Dear Editor:

I applaud “The Progressive’s” desire for reinstitution of classical literature including the Bible in the educational system.

I do not, however, understand his juxtaposition of ignorance of the Great Books of Western Culture with the rise of conservative talk radio or Fox News.

Educational administrators claiming to be reforming education from the irrelevance of dead white males discontinued the Great Books programs that were the core of liberal arts programs prior to the 1970’s. Those people identified themselves as progressive.

Mr. Culotta may indeed rue the lack of classical education, but conservative talk radio didn’t kill it. Progressives did.


Wrong Place For Bus Stop

Dear Editor;

I’m curious to see what the Wave thinks of the new Q21 bus stop on Newport and B 117 Street.

It seems a curious spot and we’d love to know who is responsible for its placement at an intersection that is already overcrowded with Green Line Buses that frequently leave their engines running to no avail. The loss of parking spaces on Newport will also be sorely missed. The lovely grass strips that were recently installed at that location will also be trampled upon by riders getting on and off their bus.

The visual impairments, the fumes in the air, the dripping oil, the trash from patrons, and the strain on the already fragile Newport Avenue infrastructure will certainly add value to our homes. (Sarcastic of course)

Moreover, why not extend the Q35 to stop adjacent to Waldbaum’s so folks may shop? This would move the holdover location to a non-residential area and positively impact business.  These buses could then circle around B108 to head back toward Newport on their routes.

Why not place the Q21, which goes over the Cross Bay Bridge, as well in that area? That’s the direction the bus will be going in, no? Commuters could actually park in the municipal lot nearby.

Typical insanity in Rockaway.  Does it ever end?


This Time, Schwach Is Right

Dear Editor;

I often find myself in disagreement with Howard Schwach’s positions – but I feel that he has hit the nail right on the head in his critique (Sept. 23) of the new Rockaway 9/11 memorial (oops, there’s that word we aren’t supposed to use again!) and, by extension, the memorials planned for Ground Zero and Shanksville, Pa., where the hijacked Flight 93 finally fell to earth.

What are our politicians thinking?

On 9/11, some 3,000 Americans were murdered in New York, at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania by 19 brainwashed criminal lunatics serving a hateful totalitarian ideology (not necessarily Islam per se, but certainly those interpretations of that religion that hold that one supposedly “serves God” by killing or subjugating “the infidels”). Our memorials should reflect the wickedness of this crime and our determination to defeat such modern-day fascism – but instead, they seemed to have been planned to encourage weeping, hugs, “healing,” but, Heaven forbid, no desire for retribution and justice!

At the same time, our officials refuse to listen to the popular will, as proven by opinion surveys, and rebuild a strengthened Twin Towers as a defiant symbol of an aroused New York and America and they attempt to instead substitute a frail so-called “Freedom Tower” as one of a bunch of jagged-looking buildings that more appropriately belong on the set of a bad science-fiction movie.

Most insulting is the attempt by George Pataki’s minions and their media allies, such as The New York Times, to foist upon us a so-called “International Freedom Center” at Ground Zero that would supposedly seek to put 9/11 into some kind of “context” – as if we, the American people, are too stupid to understand what happened there without having various academics, “activists” and other members of the elite properly explain it to us. They cloak their plans with the word “freedom” – but doesn’t this same crowd also sagely counsel us that “one man’s ‘terrorist’ is another man’s ‘freedom fighter’?” – and won’t their nuanced “educational” programming at the IFC reflect this “even-handed” view? Not for nothing has this attempt to hijack 9/11 for politically correct indoctrination been fiercely opposed by both the police and fire unions (whose members paid dearly, in blood, on 9/11) as well as by organizations of 9/11 family members, led by the brave woman who first exposed this hoax, Debra Burlingame (her brother was the murdered pilot of the plane flown into the Pentagon by the hijackers).

We have no IFC, no wind chimes, and no “Crescents of Embrace” at the USS Arizona memorial remembering those who were killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor – and we have gotten along just fine for 60+ years without them.

Mr. Schwach’s editorial should be required reading for all politicians and other civic leaders connected with 9/11 memorial planning in the Rockaways, at Ground Zero, in Pennsylvania and in Washington.


No More Affordable Housing

Dear Editor,

I have recently read an article in Rockaway’s local paper, The Wave, that reported that the city is building more affordable housing in the east end of Rockaway (“Arverne East” is the project name). The last thing Arverne East needs is more affordable housing. There are blocks and blocks of projects, substandard housing, low income Mitchell Lama, old housing stock.

They just built Edgemere by the Sea, Water’s Edge I, Ocean Point. They already have the Ocean Bay Houses, and Ocean Village plus even in the market rate housing there is a huge amount of Section 8 tenants, untold amounts of half way houses, group homes, nursing homes, etc.  You can’t attract and keep retailers and services if you continually import poor and jobless people.

The lower and middle-income people who live in Arverne /Far Rock/ Edgemere can’t get ahead with a constant influx of poor people. The existing homeowners in the area who have been investing in their homes want to see market rate housing. They have been remodeling their homes, their yards, trying to fix their schools. The Community Board 14 voted on this already MARKET RATE HOUSING. In Arverne by the Sea they snuck in three big buildings for affordable housing. Why is this happening again?

Why do we constantly get dumped on? What can the Rockaway community do to ensure we don’t get any more “affordable housing”?  We need market rate housing - that’s what we lack and that’s why as a community we approved the Arverne plan in the first place.


Explanation Of

Flag Involvement

Dear Editor,

As the wife of Eddie O’Hare, I’m known to take the backseat and remain quiet when it comes to politics. I often read the opinion columns in the local papers and chuckle at how the opponents complain and bash Eddie because they have another agenda or want something they can’t have... but that’s politics. However, when a neighbor wrote a letter to the Bag of Mail insinuating that Eddie was a liar, I could no longer remain quiet. Eddie may be loud and speak his mind... but he does not lie. This was especially surprising since the letter came from a family who has encountered negative publicity within the media.

As part of Eddie’s reelection campaign for Republican District leader, he placed a “Profile/Resume” of his local involvements. These were meant to be highlights of his activities, not extensive recitations of each and every program. It was not the appropriate platform to mention with whom he worked on all these projects. He never claimed he did the project on his own from conception to completion. If it was an article about the flag program, the O’Sullivan’s, as well as the American Legion, most definitely would have been included.

So I thought I would take this opportunity to remind Mrs. Sullivan of Eddie’s part in the initiation and organization of this project. Back in May 2002 the American Legion had an idea of lining the boulevard with small flags to honor the troops. Eddie and Patrick decided they could raise money and place full-size flags down the boulevard.

They attended a meeting with the American Legion where he, along with Patrick, presented the idea to the membership. Eddie and Pat researched flags and brackets and Mr. O’Sullivan spent hours assembling the flags while handling the donations that came in. I handled the flyers and local advertising. The flags were hung by all of the aforementioned people, though it was Eddie who fielded and responded to the many phone calls that occurred when flags were damaged or needed to be replaced. Galaxy Cleaners cleaned all the flags at no cost and the program has since survived with the participation and cooperation of the American Legion, Bobby O’Hare, Steve Albert and George Barr. So except for assembling the flagpoles, Eddie O’Hare was a major player in the flag program.

I find it sad that a wonderful, community-minded endeavor has now been reduced to a competition for recognition. I think everyone has now been recognized and I hope that the readers of The Wave will understand that it was not Eddie alone who made the program a success. It was never his intention to claim sole responsibility, but rather to promote some of the volunteer efforts he contributes to so that he could continue to volunteer his time as an unpaid, elected representative.


Say No

To Toxic Dredge Spoils

Dear Editor,

Some elitists and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been trying to link the Port Authority’s need to dispose of toxic dredge spoils cheaply, from widened and deepened shipping channels and berths, with the ecological restoration of Jamaica Bay “borrow pits” (bay bottom dredged for landfills years ago).

Recently the Corps released a study of the ecology of Little Bay and Norton Basin complex off Bayswater and Edgemere in Rockaway, which claims that Little Bay’s pits bottoms are so degraded that they fit the definition-in the Corps Dredge Disposal Management Plan (DDMP) for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey-of those borrow pits needing recontouring and restoration using dredge spoil disposal “shallowing process.”

The study is wise in not mentioning the potential use (or intention to use) of toxic dredge spoils, but there is so much available and the Corps has already published an application (The Castle Astoria), which intended to bring toxic dredge spoils from Steinway Creek in Astoria to Norton Basin. It was dropped when opposition became too intense.

Environmental groups have favored the DDMP industrial recycling option by which the spoils are treated with Portland cement and used in construction projects and to fill in Pennsylvania strip mines. The Jamaica Bay disposal plan was at one time dropped given the proximity to Gateway National Park.

The public should send objections to Len Houston, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacob K. Javits Federal Building, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10278.


For ‘The Greater Good

Of Rockaway’

Dear Editor,

I saved your September 2, 2005 “From The Editor’s Desk,” for a follow-up.

Your ideas-not just this one - for Rockaway’s development are excellent. You need to venture capital. But you don’t want to just turn over your ideas to a venture capitalist that mostly wants to make money.

You have the right to maintain a vested interest, since it is your idea and/or suggestion.

Why not form a group whose function and credo is “For the Greater Good of the Rockaways”? I suggest that you try to interest local people like De Matteis, Marvin Eisenstadt, or others who have made their mark commercially, as well as people whose ideas and outlook you have known and respect.

Your ideas need a favorable climate and support to grow. You may well say Rockaway has too many splintered groups to be effective. But I do not know of any group with as broad an aim as yours will have.


We Should Never Forget

Dear Editor,

It was with great pleasure I read your column on September 22. I doubt very much that you are in the minority with your opinions on memorials. I totally agree with you. My son was in the World Trade Center for both attacks and only for the grace of God he escaped both times. For a long time after 9/11 he was not the same. As far as I’m concerned, those people tried to murder my son twice. I indeed take it very personally. Those murderers and their followers have a mindset that will never choose to talk it over and be friends, and I don’t think we should be fooled into thinking they will.

Let a memorial show the atrocity. Let it stir our emotions so that we never forget, we shouldn’t forget.


A Couple Of Rockaway


Dear Editor;

Summer of 2005 in our Rockaway has come to an end. We have taken this glorious time of year to stop, smell the flowers, and listen to the call of seagulls, sounds of the surf and extra time to enjoy the children. All material things, necessities, and extras are not as meaningful as time we give our children.

Time spent with children is what memories are made of, lasting longer than any possessions.

This is now old news that Rockaway Beach Boulevard from Beach 125th Street thru Beach 139th Street will remain NO PARKING ANYTIME.

We believe in being good losers, our wish is that those who succeeded in winning will be good winners. Many have advised us to “take it federal”, our reply is “No Thanks why don’t you”. As a couple of Rockaway Parkers we are comfortable and satisfied with our endeavor. Thanks to ALL who worked with us and to everyone who wrote letters, signed letters and petitions.

Now that we have had ample time to reflect on the outcome of the Department of Transportation decision and the Community Consensus we realize to return any parking to Rockaway Park on the Boulevard threatened Belle Harbor and Neponsit. Our intent was never to concern ourselves above Beach 130th Street. The Belle Harbor Civic came out with guns blazing the rest is now history.

The months the COALITION AGAINST NO PARKING ANYTIME SIGNS campaigned for parking was personally a rewarding experience. We had a wonderful opportunity to meet many members of our Community. The time spent was a learning experience, which proves you are never too old to continue to learn. The outpouring of residence pro & con was great!

Communities where people pay attention, give their time and are concerned is better for ALL. Our desire is for this concern and participation to continue for ALL. We have grown from this experience and have come to the realization of how much WE LOVE ROCKAWAY.

Our plan will be to continue to broaden our horizon and involve ourselves in the many aspects and issues within our Community. For the opportunity to share with you the reader WE THANK THE WAVE.




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