2005-10-28 / Letters


Odor Control At Waste Water Plant

The following letter was sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Dear Mayor Bloomberg:

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to you on behalf of my constituents on the Rockaway peninsula who have been complaining to my office over the last few years regarding the undesirable odors permeating the air, which is being emitted from the Rockaway Waste Water Pollution Control plant.

The last upgrade of this plant was in 1974 and did not include odor control as part of the upgrade. I understand that in 2004, funds of $220 million were slated for an upgrade of the Rockaway facility to begin in 2006 or 2007 with $22 million of that amount slated for odor control.

An increase of population due to housing and manufacturing on the peninsula adds to the necessity of the upgrade and odor control of this plant. I believe that OMB has pulled the money allocated for the project and rescinded the upgrade. I am respectfully requesting that reconsideration be made of this decision, and the much needed upgrade take place.

I am most interested in the outcome of this situation and look forward to a response regarding the Rockaway Waste Water Pollution Control Plant.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.


Follow-Up To The Dangers

Dear Editor,

We once again call you attention to the letter to the editor from the last time we wrote to The Wave. What we fail to understand is why The Wave is not doing anything about the dangers in the Rockaways.

Why is it that our local elected officials have done nothing about the dangers, from hurricanes, northeasters, and tsunamis, which could hit our area. Why is it that this present city and state administrations have seen fit not to care at all about the Rockaways, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island, where not thousands but millions of lives are in great danger. Why is it that there are not enough evacuation route notices posted, or combined services to help with evacuation, or no direct drills and working status with Nassau County (who could get hit like we can), or no direct officials from OEM for our area.

The President of the United States calls out for volunteers to help our cities and towns, but the mayor and governor do not care about any extra trained help, or have thought about enough shelters for people. The Red Cross is the only one to take action in any incident that could hit us.

Our local elected officials call and have town hall meetings and make fancy speeches, but nothing ever gets done. The present city administration seeks to whitewash this danger. The city and state will not re-vamp the Auxiliary Fire Corps for extra manpower, but the Auxiliary Police can get anything they wish from the city. Where is the $18 million dollars that the Federal Government gives every year to the FDNY for volunteer programs?

The offices of OEM (which is under the control of the NYPD) will not recognize many dedicated, well-trained volunteer groups within the greater metro area. The city governments do not recognize the efforts and service of volunteer organizations. Organizations have no chance to say what they wish and take the city officials to task.

We have no emergency official help in our area except police and fire. It would take OEM officials, the Red Cross, and other volunteer organizations at least 45 minutes to get out here, and no group works together for the whole area.

As volunteer firefighters for over 40 years, we find that in the past two to four years we have found that the weather conditions have gotten worse, with many more hurricanes, earthquakes, and tidal waves. We do not wish a disaster to hit us like it did India. With proper training, this could be prevented by city agencies and volunteer groups.

We need to start these programs NOW, not after it happens and it is too late, when waves and 150 mph winds could hit us and cut the Rockaways in half, destroy our bridges, and flood out Breezy Point and other low-lying areas. Many lives will be lost if we do not take action. We ask the city to create a new commissioner for volunteer public safety organizations to take charge of all the volunteer groups so they could work together in the event of an emergency.

The International Association of Auxiliary Volunteer Firefighters for over 26 years has seen all kinds of disasters, and we find that if this area is not fixed, anything could happen. Many of our people are fully trained in disaster and evacuation management. We ask The Wave to get the project started and put pressure on our city officials to save lives in our area. If any people wish to contact us, our number is (716) 327-0444 24 hours a day. We are looking for good people to join our organization.



Just Like Lindsay

The following letter was sent to the New York Times in response to its recent story on John Lindsay. The author of the letter, Dr. Ernest Horowitz, is a long-time Rockaway resident.

To the Editor:

I read with great poignancy the article entitled “A Campaign to Remember….” by Sam Roberts in the Times of 10/9/05. For about an hour before the accompanying photo was taken, one of Mr. Lindsay’s aides who was sporting a city-white (no) tan, matching Turkish towel top and bathing suit, and pointed-toe, black loafers was walking back and forth in the sand with a bullhorn on Beach 116 to B. 117 in Rockaway Park announcing that “The next Mayor of the City Of New York will be going swimming here.” People were getting excited. I was the lieutenant lifeguard of the area.

About several minutes after the photo was taken in front of Curley’s Bathhouse, Mr. Lindsay entered the somewhat choppy surf and swam directly toward the bulkhead at the end of jetty, the same spot where we did at least eighty percent of our business. A mass of people followed him into this restricted area and shortly began getting into trouble. I had to direct traffic trying to keep the area covered while managing the many rescues. I then saw another person who made it around the bulkhead but was in trouble so took off my “top” (the sleeveless shirt which would be a great trophy for someone) and went after him. The victim was thin but seemed to be a ton of dead weight. While I was still pulling him, he suddenly started walking, and I noticed he was very tall. A crowd gathered on the shore in front of us as I walked him in, and he yanked his arm from me. I then told him that it is our job to get him totally out of the water and re-took his arm. I had to go back in, but when I came out again, a little boy returned my top.

The story is emblematic of the Lindsay administrations. They/he forged into troubled waters with enthusiasm as a plan. Ignorance and failure to get real professional or local advice didn’t stop them. The fallout that day and subsequently could have been disastrous but New Yorkers rise to the occasion and abide.


Good Fences Make

Good Neighbors

Dear Editor;

There is an old saying that “Good fences make good neighbors.” This is true. Fences mark boundaries. Keep children and pets safe in their own yards and outsiders out. I have seen some beautiful fences that do their job well.  However, inappropriate fences do more harm than good.

I have always kept the bushes in front of my home trimmed so that the windows of my house are visible. If someone tries to break in, they will be visible from the street and possibly caught. If a fire started, someone would see it and call 911.

What people are erecting now, in a search for privacy, are solid fences giving no view in or out. If my neighbors chose to build these, my yard would be enclosed as well.

My privacy would be enhanced even if I did not want it but also my interaction with the world around me other than directly in front of my property. I will repeat, GOOD fences make good neighbors.


Questions For Bloomberg

Dear Editor;

  Some of us may have lost interest in the mayoral campaign. As we are deluged with advertising from one candidate and polls showing a non-competitive race, we must not forget that mayoral campaigns give us an opportunity to get answers to questions and pledges from candidates who solicit our votes. I am sending the following questions to Mike Bloomberg and Fred Ferrer and hope they will respond to me and through the WAVE to voters in Rockaway.

Will you support a plan currently being considered by the Lower Manhattan-Jamaica JFK Transportation Project to use part of the old Rockaway Beach LIRR line to give residents of Rockaway, Howard Beach and other South Queens communities access to a new high speed commuter service to Lower Manhattan via the Atlantic line?   

Patients at the Neponsit Care Center were removed during the middle of the night, under false pretenses, during the Giuliani administration. The buildings still stand empty. Will you direct the Health and Hospitals Corporation to reopen this facility?

The Department of Education and Department of Parks have announced the beginning of a Lifeguard Development Program to train lifeguards for the summer of 2006. Will you direct the funding of a Learn to Swim program so more of our teenagers will qualify for the Development Program and pledge sufficient funds to offer salaries competitive with neighboring communities? Will you direct the Parks Department to modify lifeguard hours and beach access rules to allow for maximum use of our beaches by residents and visitors?

Real estate taxes have increased on many properties due to increases in assessed valuation determined by the Department of Finance. Will you allow taxpayers to defer payment of tax increases during the appeals process?

  I urge readers who are interested in the answers to these questions or to questions of your own to contact www.ferrer2005.com and www.mikebloomberg.com. Share the answers you get with the community.


Check Your Facts

Dear Editor;

This letter is in response to the article written in the October 21st issue

of The Wave by Wave Historian Emil Lucev, “History Maps Refute Baxter¹s 1837 Claim.” First of all, I am not a historian. I never claimed to be one, nor did I ever impede, or try to impede, in any way the development of Beach 116 Street.

Secondly, if there was community pressure on me to sell the hotel to developers I was not aware of it. I have asked you on many occasions to call me up if you, or any one of your writers, wanted information on my building. For some unknown reason you choose not to do that. A simple phone call would eliminate all the misinformation in so many articles written about my hotel and published in The Wave newspaper. And why you prefer to run slipshod over facts is a mystery to me. Every letter I write to The Wave I put my phone number in it.

Emil Lucev didn’t call me. A real, sincere historian would have made that call. It is not nice for a historian to be so sure of what he is writing

without checking with the source. When anyone reads anything written by a historian, they believe everything they read is Gospel. Whether intentional or not, Lucev¹s article was inaccurate and misleading, with little regard for the truth. I am a firm believer in documented evidence, and Lucev did not look hard enough to find documented evidence that proves the age of my hotel. And, Howard, if ever you become more interested in publishing the truth than in pursuing your own agenda, I, as always, am willing to share my information with you.


Praise For New Gateway Greenway

Dear Editor,

This letter is in regard to the article on page 11 from the October 14 edition of The Wave, entitled “After 12 Years, They’re Diggin In The Rain.”

Thank you for finally doing this. As I remember many, many years ago, as you entered North Channel Bridge in Howard Beach and Crossbay Boulevard, at 165 Avenue, they had a big sign that read, “Spring Creek Park” to surround all of Jamaica Bay. Rockaway Playland put in a complaint that it would take business away from them. And I wonder, whatever happened to that project? (That the city had money to construct but never completed) It never happened…It was right next to a bus stop shed en route from New Lots Avenue, Brooklyn to Far Rockaway (the21-A). I would come the other way, get off there, and walk over the old wooden bridge to catch the Q-11 to Jamaica to save a nickel. For if you went to Liberty Avenue, it was ten cents. It would go to Jamaica Roller Rink, right across from the Long Island Daily Press. I also went to the Rockaway Roller-Dome that is now the garage for the Green Bus Lines.

And those were the days, my friend.


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REgarding Dr. Horowitz' comment about John V.
Lindsay, I remember well the day he came to
Rockaway. I was 16 years old and a bartender
at Fitzgerald's on beach 108th street. WE
all thought he would be the next JFK. Well
mistakes can be made and our prognostication
turned out to be an illusion. By the way,
Dr. Horowitz not only was a great Chief in the
Rockaway Park area, he also is now one of the finest Doctor's in NYC!!!
Brian James McManus

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