2005-10-07 / Letters


Don’t Sensationalize Stories

Dear Editor;

The purpose of this correspondence is to express my personal disappointment with your recent front page article “Drunk Husband Crashes Car, Kills Wife.”

As a life long friend of Eddie Bain, I feel that you have already convicted him in the court of public opinion.

I do believe the press does have the right to publish newsworthy events, but should not sensationalize them in order to sell more papers.

Eddie is a decent person, a loving son, loving husband, devoted father, and a loyal friend. The picture you portrayed of him is that he is a callous monster.

Any bizarre statements he may have made to the accident investigators should be taken with a grain of salt. You must remember that he was also severely injured in this accident.

Eddie has a broken jaw, punctured eardrum, broken hand, cracked ribs, cuts, bruises and stitches all over.

The investigators should have taken in consideration that he probably was in a state of shock. After all he just experienced a traumatic event.

In closing I hope you take my criticism to heart.

There are many people involved when there is a tragedy like this. Two families, and in this case an eleven year old son. 

Before trashing a person’s name and reputation in a public forum, think about them instead of headlines.


Flight 587 Memorial Location Controversy

The following letter was sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Mayor Bloomberg,

I understand that you have given your support to the local community’s decision, to place the Flight 587 Memorial on Beach 116 Street in Rockaway Park. This is as opposed to placing the memorial in Belle Harbor, where the plan actually crashed.

Why would you want to support such a decision? Because there’s not adequate space in Belle Harbor for a proper memorial? That’s certainly not the case. Because Beach 116 Street is more accessible? Accessibility is not an issue for people who are grieving lost relatives and friends. Nor has it been for the past three years. Nor will it be this year.

I don’t know what you were told, or how you were advised. But the reality of the situation is quite simple. The residents of Belle Harbor, a lilywhite middle-upper middle class neighborhood, don’t want “those people” driving and walking around their pristine streets.

It’s a community decision born of ignorance. It’s also pure, unadulterated racism against the Latino community in general, and the Dominican community in particular. And your name is all over it.

Given these facts, why do you want to be Mayor for another four years?

I think you have polarized this city enough.


Traffic Signals Needed On Beach 77 Street

The following letter was sent to Commissioner Constance Moran, NYC Department of Transportation

Dear Commissioner Moran,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to you on behalf of my constituents who are deeply troubled with the guidelines used by the Department of Transportation regarding safety conditions crossing Shore Front Parkway.

On November 17, 2004, I requested that your office examine the feasibility of installing a traffic device on the corner of Beach 77 Street and Shore Front Parkway. The reply from your office on February 28, 2005 was, “Based upon our evaluation of the data collected, it is our judgment that the traffic signals are unwarranted at this time.” A short time after I received said response, an individual was killed at that location involving a vehicular accident. I contacted your office again for a traffic device to no avail.

On Friday, September 27, 2005, a young teenage boy riding his bicycle on Shore Front Parkway and Beach 77 Street was struck and killed by an SUV at the same location. Beach 77 Street and Shore Front Parkway is a busy intersection with many cars coming out of the two parking lots of the large apartment housing complex consisting of approximately 1152 families. Beach 84 Street and Shore Front Parkway is another heavily used and dangerous intersection. Over 400 children attend the School at the Church of St. Rose of Lima and over 1000 people attend church on Sundays.

I am respectfully requesting that it is time to end the studies and install traffic signals at the two said locations before there is another death or injury. I urge your department, in light of two tragic accidents and many close calls, to install traffic controls on Shore Front Parkway, a beach access street, with many recreational facilities and visitors to the boardwalk. During the spring, summer and early fall months this is a very crowded area with pedestrians and cars.

Should you require additional information please contact Michael Karpinos, a member of my staff at my Rockaway district office, at (718) 318-6411.

I am most interested in the outcome of this situation and look forward to hearing from you. I thank you for your consideration and attention to this matter.




Graybeards ‘Pints For Life’ Draws Huge Success

Dear Editor,

The Graybeards would like to thank all of our sponsors, volunteers and especially the donors who helped make last Sunday’s Fourth Annual Pints for Life Blood Drive at St. Francis de Sales gym a resounding success. By the time the dust settled at 1:30 p.m., 312 people had shown up with 288 pints collected, a new record!

At the drive, all donors received gifts from CitiGroup, Harbor Light and Ben’s Deli, and were entered in a drawing that was held following the drive. During the drive, donors enjoyed cookies and muffins donated by Ludwig’s, bagels and cream cheese from Beach Bagels, and coffee from Dunkin Donuts. Lucky winners will receive gift certificates at Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, and Blockbuster Video, as well as tee-shirts and hats from the Long Island Blood Center and the Graybeards. All donors will also receive their cholesterol test results in the mail soon.

The Graybeards are humbled by the outpouring of support we consistently receive from the Rockaway community, and are proud to call this our home. See you next September!



Reply To ‘Head Out

Of The Sand’

Dear Editor,

How is one supposed to respond to a woman who would rather pump her grandchildren full of overpriced designer coffee rather than providing them with a memorable life of experience?

So, to Ms. Jane Kane, “Get Your Head Out Of The Sand,” my reply is simply this: in order to avoid any further embarrassment for yourself and your family, please refrain from writing Letters to the Editor until you have your facts straight and you know what you’re talking about.

If and when that day ever comes, you can reach me at the Baxter Hotel, where I reside.


In Your Face, Jane!

Dear Editor,

I want to thank Jane for setting the community and me straight on the type of occupants and conditions at the Baxter Hotel. I don¹t know why it took me so long to get it. I am here going on 22 years now and boy was I in the dark until I read some of her wisdom. Here I was all along, believing in the working class when I could have been sipping Starbucks coffee looking out through a glass window at the peasants walking past. As recent as last night, one of my tenants came home looking like the cat dragged him in. Dirty hands, dirty face with a mean look, torn clothes. He’s a plumber. So what if he gets your water running. Who needs this dirty man around? When he finishes putting the plumbing in Starbucks let him leave Beach 116 Street. Right Jane?

 The next man came in dragging his rear end. He had a white piece of cloth wrapped around his right hand. It looked like the blood was oozing through the white cloth. I asked him if there was anything I could do for him. He just looked at me and laughed. Then he looked at the bloody, messy bandage and said, “You mean this. If that’s all I had to worry about I would be a happy man. It’s part of my occupation. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last.” He is a roofer. He put the roof on Starbucks. How humiliating to tolerate someone like that in our midst, and walking Beach 116 Street no less. We can’t have that. Right Jane?

The next man coming in looked quite respectable for a change. He was wearing a nice uniform with a Verizon emblem over his heart. Respectable looking, but still in the blue-collar working class category. This fellow is a little too cocky for his own good. He feels he can do anything he wants because he has a union to back him up. He had the nerve to keep me waiting two days for my rent. He installs the telephone wires in the Starbucks. We don’t need him either. Do we Jane?

To tell you the truth, I am sick and tired of all those working fools. The

Ironworkers, the carpenters, the painters, the floor scrapers, the this,

the that. Not to mention the workers from other states that travel around

doing special jobs like drilling for gas and who knows what else they are

drilling for. Out with them too. They can¹t afford Starbucks. Right Jane?

One more aspect of the Baxter Hotel that is really getting on my nerves

lately is the theatre on the first floor. Now that’s a trip and a half. When

I think about all of the original shows we have produced for the public to come and enjoy themselves, not to mention public television, it does something to me. It bothers me to see young and old people getting along with great hopes of becoming stars one day. No one should be allowed to dream. This is Beach 116 Street. But you know Jane, what puts the icing on the cake are the children¹s shows. Them little critters would give any normal person a headache with their screaming.

You should have heard them when Champion the big Red Poodle from Sheepshead Bay entertained them. It was noisy enough when his master had Red roll on the floor and do all sorts of silly things ordinary dogs don¹t do, but when Red jumped back and forth through a big hoop held up in the air it really made them little buggers noisy. I’m glad you didn’t have to witness so much silliness. I don’t know why some of the mothers didn’t call the police and have at least a few of them incarcerated. What would I have cared? I had their money. So you see Jane, you are right, the Baxter Hotel should be replaced with a Starbucks, and eliminate all this unwanted activity. Right Jane?

Oh, one more thing. You know that other silly character who calls himself an artist. What’s his name again? Of yeah, Robert Sarnoff. I see his cartoons in the editorial section of the Wave, every week no less. Did you know he scratched a Rockaway jetty on a piece of cardboard and had it pasted on a United States postage stamp. Now every time I pay 37 cents for a stamp I have to look at another Rockaway monstrosity. What on earth is this country coming to? And last year he convinced me to make a movie with him. Low and behold his movie was chosen at the Oklahoma Film Festival. Isn’t that disgusting? And to think of all the wasted time we spent on that movie, when I could have been sitting in Starbucks. Right Jane?  Oh well, what is one to do? On second thought, I prefer Dunkin Donuts. I’m going there now to order a large regular to go. Hope you enjoy your Starbucks.


New York’s Finest

Dear Editor,

On Saturday, September 17, while walking my dog by the rear entrance to First Congregational Church on Beach 92 Street, the Pastor Sharon Solt, who was in obvious distress, brought it to my attention that a tiny kitten was trapped in the front end suspension or coil spring of a vehicle parked on the church property. The Pastor had heroically spent an hour, with her friends, attempting to free the unfortunate animal, without success.

Being an animal lover, I walked to the nearby 100 Precinct and told the officer on duty about the trapped kitten, which was getting weaker by the minute with the sun shining directly onto the parked vehicle. New York’s finest responded immediately, contacting a patrol car in the area, which drove me to Beach 92 Street. One of the officers, with thick protective gloves, soon freed the kitten. A not so happy ending, as the distressed animal bit the Pastor’s finger before dashing off to locate family members!


Memories Of Lundy’s Island In Rockaway

Dear Editor,

A few weeks ago, you showed Lundy’s Island in Jamaica Bay in “Historical Views” of the Rockaways. You invited anyone who could expand upon the details published.

I remember my father, Bill Schilling, talking about how hard his brother used to work to gather clams and crabs for Lundy’s. This was probably in the early 1920s. I asked him to put down on paper and here are the results. Dad is now 93 years old and living in Florida. He lived in the Rockaways and Broad Channel until 1979. He is sharp as a tack and in reasonably good health. He’ll get a kick out of seeing his memories in print.


A ‘Simpler Time’ In Rockaway

Dear Editor,

Thank you for the article you presented in The Wave’s August 26, 2005 issue. It brought back memories to my frail mother, Lillian, just like it was yesterday. She remembers the Piazza family’s father, even imitated the way he stood and looked at you. She came to the Rockaways in the 1920s, was married to a large Rockaway family in the 1930s, and we are still here.

My grandmother, Constance, used to send my mother to get the bread, for she would always get it back home intact. My grandmother lived on Beach 35 Street and always had a packed house at mealtime. A cousin once found and ate six chickens; I don’t want to say what happened to him. My father was the youngest of nine, so he was the last to marry. I am the youngest of their offspring, at 54 now.

Again, you brought back a simpler way in Rockaway, the neighborhood where everyone lived in glass houses and didn’t lock their doors.


The Changing Face Of Beach 116 Street

Dear Editor,

This letter is in answer to Jane Kane’s letter. Jane, it looks like you want to continue to enforce your yuppie, Neponsit lifestyle on the residents of Beach 116 Street area, and want them to adhere to your standards.

Jane, what have you got against blue-collar workers? What have you got against carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and the good people that live in Baxter’s Hotel? Why do you want to make them homeless? So you can have quaint shops like the Hamptons, and Starbucks with $4 coffees, and wine and cheese lounges. Maybe the people who already live in the Beach 116 Street area don’t want these establishments.

Have you ever visited Baxter’s Hotel, seen for yourself and spoken to the people who live there? Are they beneath you?

Have you ever read the article by a New York Times reporter who lived for five weeks in the hotel and found nothing wrong?

Have you ever been to a show in Baxter’s Theater? What have you got against adults and children having a good time and laughing?

Do you know that Baxter’s Hotel is one of the oldest standing buildings in Rockaway? It dates back to 1837 when Beach 116 Street was a dirt road, and the only mode of transportation was horses and carriages. Why do you want to destroy this historic building? Do you know that there are murals in that building that depicts historical old-time Rockaway? And the Chamber of Commerce wants to destroy and replace this historic building with another monolithic monstrosity like the Ocean Grande, which is completely out of character with the rest of the community.

Do you know that the Ocean Grande is in violation of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, and demands and complaints have been made, and are continuing to be made, to the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration to investigate and enforce this act against the Ocean Grande?

Yes, incidents do happen in the Beach 116 Street area, but the incident you referred to did not happen at Baxter’s Hotel, but at the Palm Gardens on Rockaway Beach Boulevard, which John Baxter or Baxter’s Hotel have nothing to do with. Before you write a letter you should get your facts correct.

And Jane, don’t think all the homeowners in Neponsit, your neighbors, are angels. And don’t think all the residents of the Ocean Grande will be angels.


New Park Plans Destroy Flower Memorial

Dear Editor,

I was wondering if someone could help me. I would like to know who actually deigned the “park” presently under construction at the south end of Beach 116 Street. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend any of the public meetings concerning that issue, as I am banned from the Beach Club by the tragically misguided Kenny Good.

Before this whole thing got started, the cul-de-sac area was “naturally” planted with beach grass, reeds, various beach shrubs, perennially flowering daisies and two pine trees. Last, but certainly not least, there were the many beautiful daffodils donated by a company in Holland, in honor of the many Rockaway residents who were killed on 9/11. These daffodil bulbs were painstakingly planted by the women of the Shore Garden Club of Neponsit and Belle Harbor.

Now, it’s all been ripped out and bulldozed. All the beach grass, reeds, shrubs, daisies and daffodils are lying in a heap of rubble. The only thing remaining are the two pine trees, and according to one of the DOT workers, they’re being transplanted “someplace.” Why? Don’t they like the pine trees? Are they bothering somebody? Why not just let them be.

So, I would like to ask the designer of the new “park” two simple questions:

Why would anybody want to go to a “park” that doesn’t have grass, shrubs, flowers and trees?

How dare you disrespect the memory and the honor of those Rockaway residents who were killed on 9/11?!


We Need To Have Preservation Plans In Rockaway

Dear Editor,

Last week’s Wave reported that Commissioner Bruno of the Office of Emergency Management stated that hurricanes typically round the southern tip of Africa on their way to the U.S. They don’t. Hurricanes form in the deserts of North Africa and enter the Atlantic off the northwest coast of Africa. This reminds me of former FEMA chairman Michael Brown’s lack of knowledge about the causes of catastrophes in New Orleans. What other basic facts doesn’t Mr. Bruno know?

Mr. Bruno’s comments virtually leave Rockaway for dead. Anyone who experienced the northeaster some years ago may remember that all the land routes out of Rockaway were flooded. Approximately 100,000 people live on this peninsula. Are we all to be evacuated by helicopter? Will we encounter the same traffic jams we saw in Houston? Can anyone accept the potential deaths of tens of thousands of people, especially among the high concentration of elderly in the nursing homes on this peninsula?

What is most alarming is that no one is talking about preserving Rockaway. The plan is to basically write it off. There are no plans to build breakwaters, jetties, groins or sand dunes to buffer the force of storms. The Parks Department spends lots of money destroying sand dunes with bulldozers. Right now the ocean comes very close to the boardwalk on ordinary high tides. Whole towns were wiped out on the Mississippi coast. I hope that New York acquires the foresight to avoid the devastation recently seen on the Gulf Coast before there is a tremendous loss of life and property in Rockaway.


‘No Doubts’ Bloomberg Should Win

Dear Editor,

Regarding the upcoming 2005 Mayoral elections, there should be no doubts on the reelection of Mayor Bloomberg, because he has simply continued with the efficient good job of his predecessor, the great Mayor Giuliani. They raised New York from the shambles of the too many Democrat years. We are now one city living in harmony and good-life quality.

Particularly in the Rockaways, where the common sense beach rules brought so much civility, and law and order to our (now) beautiful community.


Different Tactics To Teach Real Life Situations

Dear Editor,

I think that there should be a new topic in school today, because there are too many things young people pick up off the street that are either partially correct or not correct at all. These naïve and gullible teens will believe anything they hear that sounds good, without knowing the real facts or consequences.

I think schools should teach:

-What is a husband?

-What is a wife?

-What about sex and love?

-What is the importance of a family?

Information that is handed down by word of mouth, heard on the streets, and seen on television is insufficient.

The schooling in the South is different. I sent my daughter to Alabama for her education. They had a course in her junior high school that related to life experiences. They gave the boys and girls baby dolls that were programmed, and they were to treat them like real babies. The baby would record everything that went wrong. It was a month-long project. The first week my daughter checked in, she received 16 neglects, missed feedings, left diapers on too long, left the baby alone, etc. The next week she was given a certain amount of money and had to purchase the baby necessities for the remaining weeks. She had to learn to budget and shop for sales. She called me when it was over and told me that I would not be a grandma anytime soon. She couldn’t take the crying, babies were expensive, and she was tired from working herself.

There should be courses like that up here for boys and girls, starting in the seventh grade. In my experience raising kids, once they graduate from grade school and enter junior high, their hormones start to run wild, and they aren’t thinking about or know the consequences.


Response To “No More Affordable Housing”

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to Michele Silverman’s letter last week on “No More Affordable” housing.

First Ms. Silverman, the occupants of affordable housing are not “poor and jobless people,” as you have obviously been misled into thinking. Thank God that the current Mayor does not agree with your “poor thinking.”

Affordable housing exists to allow every person the opportunity to own a home and their target is not poor people, but working families who can afford a mortgage payment, but not at the currently over-inflated market rate real estate. And they are entitled to pursue the American dream just like you are.

May I suggest you give your energy by making sure the people who are buying the homes in Arverne by the Sea really stick with the purpose, which is to have owner-occupancy, not rent them to anyone who can pay the rent, which in many cases means to NYC Section 8 program participants. Get your facts straight on this one; many Section 8 participants are working people who do not have salaries to compete with the market rate rent in NYC. Aren’t you blessed to not be one of them, Ms. Silverman?

And let us be realistic and clear that CB #14 has never serviced or served the best interest of everyone in the Rockaways. We all know who they cater to and it is HPD pressure that made the affordable housing in Arverne by the Sea a reality.

As a homeowner, I do sometimes get disgusted with the many housing projects in Rockaway, but not because they are here. I get disgusted to see how the residents and the buildings are so poorly neglected and treated. Why do the residents in these housing projects constantly get dumped on?

We need shopping malls with large magnet stores like The Gap, Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works in Rockaway. Once these stores are here and employing the people you call “poor and jobless,” we will see many changes in Rockaway including the ability to buy “affordable housing” in their own community, contributing our tax base to improve our schools and community as a whole. When I come off the subway I see many Rockaway residents with shopping bags because we do not have shopping here. I always think, “What a shame Rockaway is losing all this tax money.”

Remember poor is not just financial. There are many ways a person can be poor.

Ms. Silverman, take another look around and think about it openly and honestly. Are the poor and jobless being imported into Rockaway? Or are we growing them in our own backyard with a poor school system, poor political representation, and poor neighbors like you?




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