2005-12-09 / Letters


Christian Moral Values

Dear Editor,

I find the firing of Michelle McCusker very disturbing.   

St. Rose of Lima School and the supporting Brooklyn Diocese point of view in this unfortunate situation is extremely condescending, dogmatic, and chauvinistic.  They are quick to judge and condemn McCusker for her behavior that in no way harmed any of the children.  In fact, The Wave reported McCusker as stating:  “I’m still in shock over Saint Rose’s decision to terminate me, especially since part of their termination letter states ‘your teaching ability and love of your children was of a high degree of professionalism.’”

St. Rose of Lima (which was my parish before I moved to Long Island) and the Brooklyn Diocese are holding on to their “high moral Christian values.”  What happened to moral Christian values when for decades the Church protected the many priests that sexually molested and mentally and physically abused countless young innocent children.  St. Rose of Lima had such a priest, as well as many other parishes.  To add insult to injury, these priests were protected by the same “moral Christians” that ignored their deviant behavior and even went so far as legally battling the victims and their families in court. Where were these high-minded moral Christians when the Church perpetuated, protected, and enabled these criminal priests to transfer to other parishes so that they could continue their deviant behaviors on more innocent victims? 

McCusker had consensual relations with a male and became pregnant.  She made the decision not to have an abortion and bring this life into the world to give this infant a loving home.  The young lady needs her job now more than ever to support herself and her child so as not to be a burden on society, but the ‘moral Christians’ fired her.  How dare they call themselves Christians?  If they truly followed the real teachings of Jesus Christ, they would not have judged her for an act that in no way affects anyone but herself.  She harmed no one and did her job in a very professional and loving manner.  The moral Christians should ask themselves this question: “Would Christ have done the same to McCusker?” I sincerely doubt it!!  It is an outrage to abuse this young lady, particularly at a time when she needs help and support! 

If a male teacher had relations with another consenting female adult outside of marriage, he would never have been punished in this manner because he could not become pregnant.  It certainly is discriminatory and one-sided against the female. 

The moral Christians should put themselves in McCusker’s shoes and see how cruelly they treated her.  I am tired of the heartless, hypocritical, moral right imposing their judgments on others.  It’s time we have more compassion for others; especially those who are devoted to their profession and try to do the best job they can.  Their personal life and their decisions to have a child outside the confines of marriage is no one else’s business.  This is not the Victorian ages and many women have chosen to have children outside of marriage.  It is not a moral issue; it is an individual’s right to choose to bring another human being into their life.  McCusker should be given credit for choosing that difficult path (in lieu of abortion) - a path that does not harm anyone else. 

I support McCusker and wish her well. My heart truly goes out to McCusker. I only wish others could open up their minds and hearts and reach out to her in support.



Sex Offender Not A Rockaway Park Hotel Resident

Dear Editor,

This letter is in reference to an article that appeared in your paper dated November 25, 2005 titled “Twenty ‘High Risk’ Sex Offenders Live in Rockaway.” This article stated the address and photo that Mr. Gasper Camacho listed his address as 158 Beach 116 Street. While it is true that Mr. Camacho did live at the Rockaway Park Hotel from June 25, 2005 to July 23, 2005, he has not stayed here since then.

One of my staff spoke with The Wave in reference to this article and you stated you ran this information through the New York State Division of Criminal Justice on Wednesday, November 23 before you ran the story.

I have in my possession two printouts listing Mr. Camacho as living in Brooklyn, New York. These printout dates are November 3, 2005 and November 28, 2005 and they are from the same New York State Division of Criminal Justice website.

As a transient lodging establishment, we have no way of knowing if a person is a convicted criminal when they rent a room. However, I can assure you that the Rockaway Park Hotel has strict requirements regarding who is allowed to become a resident. If an applicant does not meet our criteria he or she must leave at the end of 28 days.


What Has Happened, People?

Dear Editor,

Has anyone besides me noticed that everywhere you seem to go in Rockaway, especially on Beach 116 Street, that everyone seems to be walking around with hate and animosity in their eyes and on their faces? I mean god forbid you accidentally make eye contact with someone, you are scowled at. Also if you make the mistake of parking in front of someone’s house they look at you with hate in their eyes. What is happening in our town?

I heard Rockaway referred to as a “close-knit community.” Close-knit? Would a close-knit community have in it so many hateful, vengeful people?

People who stand on the corner and drink coffee and spread lies and half-truths about you; people who live in glass houses should not throw stones. In some towns you know most people on your block, but it seems in Rockaway Park you could live ten years on a block and not know your next door neighbor’s name. You get on or off an elevator in some boardwalk building and you are greeted with icy cold stares and attitudes. What has happened people? I don’t mean you have to shake everyone’s hand, but at least cut out the hateful looks on your faces. People should switch to decaf and eat some bran muffins or fiber supplements.


Waste Of Taxpayer Money

The following letter was sent to Leon Mineta, the United States Secretary of Transportation.

Dear Secretary Mineta:

The construction to redesign the parking on Beach 116 Street is completed. In reality, there were two streets made out of one street and the width of each street is exactly 31 feet six inches wide. There is a nine-foot wide median down the middle with four rows of parking. When there is a delivery to a store the entire block is tied up from one end to the other. No one moves. What if there was a fire, or any emergency that would require emergency vehicles to get there? I cannot for the life of me understand why this situation is not illegal.

About 23 years ago, the street was redesigned with angled parking in the middle. Previously there was angled parking by the curbs and there was never a problem with traffic.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) stated that parking in the center would require the street to be leveled, because the crown in the middle was too high. Long Island Lighting (LILCO) stated that they had just spent one and a half million dollars to install underground lighting down the middle of the street and if the street had to be cut down that would destroy their underground wiring. The local government stated that if they didn’t use the money they would lose it and they went ahead with the plan. LILCO installed two temporary rows of wooden poles down both sides of the street to carry the electricity. The temporary poles are still there.

The bottom line here is that Beach 116 Street has, and is being used to squander taxpayer¹s money. It’s like there is some evil scheme to drive out the storeowners. The local government used the exact argument as they used twenty-three years ago. If we don’t use the money we will lose it. Very few people wanted the design twenty-three years ago and fewer people wanted the latest design. I mean it was just plain common sense that a street so narrow in a business district could not work. Last Saturday I had an oil delivery to my hotel. No one could pass and angry motorists started screaming at each other. I am asking you to look into this matter and see if anything can be done to correct this dangerous situation on the main public street in Rockaway Beach.


Rethinking The Bus Routes

Dear Editor,

With the recent agreement between the MTA and the private bus companies, this would be an opportune time to revise the current bus routes serving the Rockaways.

These routes have not changed in fifty years, and neither reflect the massive building programs underway, nor the change from a beach/summer community to year-round residences.

It is suggested that the following be considered:

-Eliminate the Q35 route from Beach 116 Street to the Flatbush Avenue subway station.

This would eliminate the route along Newport Avenue, freeing up approximately 30 bus stops and providing about 90,000 additional parking spaces.

-Extend the current Q22 route from Far Rockaway, which now terminates in Roxbury, to the Flatbush Avenue subway station.

This would also eliminate the inconvenient transfers that riders endure at the Roxbury, Neponsit Home and the Newport Avenue and Beach 116 Street bus stops, in order to continue through the Rockaways or to the Flatbush Avenue subway.


Waiting For Sanders

The following letter was sent to City Councilman James Sanders, Jr., who represents the east end of the Rockaway peninsula.

Dear Councilman Sanders,

This community asks for your support and you do not respond. People who serve in public office do so to serve the people. It should not be a privilege to get a response from you. That is your responsibility.

Yet I have written, called and emailed your office countless times to get your support on the out of scale development happening along the waterfront and Beach 25 Street. I have invited you to events and protests we have had and received no response from you, either for or against our community.

A few weeks ago you said in the paper that you did not know enough about the construction along Beach 25 Street.

Since then have you gotten more of the facts concerning this matter? If not, I would be happy to discuss the issues concerning our neighborhood.

You said in your reelection campaign that you support rezoning and are opposed to the out of scale development taking over Far Rockaway. Yet what are you doing about it?

The messages developers and outsiders get from papers, such as last weeks NY Times, is that Rockaway is the land of opportunity for developers. Just buy a bungalow. Tear it down. Build whatever you want.

We need for you to set the record straight by enforcing stricter regulations and zoning which will protect our neighborhoods. Otherwise there will be nothing left to save.

Developers are destroying the spirit of our community by building substandard construction with no regard for the waterfront or Rockaway history when they tear down bungalows and Victorian homes that have stood for over 100 years and replace them with homes built in four weeks.

You are the very person who should be listening to the needs of the community. We need your support now more than ever. Actions speak louder than words. Do the right thing for Far Rockaway and show us your support.

We’re all waiting.


Senior Housing

May Be In Jeopardy

The following letter was written to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

I am a Senior Citizen, and I reside at 711 Seagirt Avenue in Far Rockaway, New York. This is a complex of four interconnecting buildings, containing 900 apartments. They were built in the 1970’s and designated as housing for Senior Citizens and the Handicapped. It is a beautiful ocean front property with a private beach and park-like sections for the residents to enjoy.

In January of next year, 2006, the property comes under new ownership. It will then be changed to Section 8 housing, and be open for rental to the general public. It will no longer be Senior Citizen and Handicap housing exclusively, as it was originally designated.

We Seniors and Handicapped are very concerned about our safety when this change occurs.

As this is a very desirable ocean front property, we are also concerned about being slowly edged out of our homes, not knowing what the new owners are planning.

We need your help in keeping this complex as it is now, exclusively for Senior Citizens and the Handicapped.

Can you help us? We are very concerned as to what may happen.


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