2005-12-16 / Letters


Thanks To PHC

Dear Editor,

I’d like to share an experience that I feel deserves recognition in the community. I’ve been to Far Rockaway for the Yomim Tovim (Holidays) when I suddenly fell ill and needed to be seen in an emergency room. Being a part of a Bikur Cholim network and a Director of VIP Health Services I constantly hear people suggesting that hospitals in Manhattan and Nassau County are superior to any local hospital. My family insisted that I remain in the area as they wanted to make sure that they are within walking distance , which led me to go to Peninsula Hospital. I must express my profound appreciation to the entire staff in the hospital emergency room as well as the staff in the hospital as I was admitted to the hospital.

The quality of care far surpassed all Manhattan hospital expectations. I truly felt like a planet away. I witnessed a nurse spoon feed an elderly patient with compassion and patience. Does one truly see this elsewhere? I haven’t!

The Board Certified physicians including my doctor Dr. Martin Grossman were extremely forthcoming and always available. The benefit of having a local hospital of this caliber in our midst is remarkable. I want the community to know that if you have to stay in Peninsula Hospital don’t have any qualms. The administration is extremely accommodating and provides a Bikur Cholim room for family accommodations. It truly was an experience that I would not have gotten elsewhere. Peninsula Hospital came through for me both professionally and sensitively. Please put this to print so that others in need can experience the same benefit.


Poster Boy For Term Limits

Dear Editor,

Someone named Albert Frankel wrote a strong letter in the Wave’s December 2nd edition about Councilman James Sanders, and I think he’s right on. Sanders has become the new poster boy for why the people voted for term limits - is Sanders getting advice on how to be a Councilmember from Allan Jennings (the other crazy Councilman who just got voted out).

Only in NYC government can a man hire his wife for a $70,000 no show job. Why doesn’t Sanders admit that this is illegal favoritism? Can’t Sanders’ good friend Mayor Bloomberg give his wife a job (so much for Sanders’ endorsing the mayor for re-election; he wasn’t even smart enough to get anything out of it). I don’t understand why some other neighborhoods have smart, dynamic elected officials representing them at City Hall and the Rockaways have to get stuck with James Sanders and his wife! Oh well, maybe if I can marry into the Sanders family I can get myself a better paying job!


What Was This Man Thinking

Dear Editor,

I can’t erase from my mind’s eye the most god-awful exhibition of disrespect and contempt that the President of the United States showed towards the people of this country and the young men under his command and the rest of the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice. Nor did he show an ounce of compassion or caring that a commander would show when ordering the troops to lay down their lives for his and corporate America’s oil war.

What was this man thinking and yet he compounded this disgraceful act by letting Cheney (the coward) and an admitted draft dodger place the wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldiers on Veterans Day. He (Cheney) did not earn that right nor did he deserve to even be present in that place of honor while television showed the President boarding a helicopter leaving the oval office and departing to make a political speech in Pennsylvania before a selected group of political hacks to criticize the democrats.

The truth is told, the President can’t hide the fact that he was the one who sent Wilson to Africa to observe the report. It was Mr. Wilson, not the democrats who said that the President was a liar. So Cheney, in his gutless method, told Scooter, his favorite suck-up, to out Wilson’s wife as a CIA operative.


Heffernan Will Be Vindicated

Dear Editor,

I read with dismay your article of December 9, 2005 regarding the charges against realtor D. Brian Heffernan. Having known Mr. Heffernan for a number of years, I find it impossible to believe that the allegations against him could possibly have any basis in reality. His integrity and his love for Rockaway are evident in the work he has done for this community. His consistent willingness to help continues to make Rockaway a better place to live.

I have worked side by side with him at fix-ups, fundraisers, blood drives and benefit committees. His work has demonstrated the highest level of commitment, responsibility and trustworthiness. I cannot believe that Mr. Heffernan would engage in the activities described in the article.

I look forward to seeing a very large article in the Wave celebrating his victory when the charges are dismissed.



Heffernan Man Of The Year

Dear Editor,

I find your article on Mr. Heffernan to be completely outrageous.

You admit in your article the following points: The Department of State of the State of New York has brought allegations against Mr. Heffernan; The State of New York Department of State offered him a slap on the wrist if he would plead guilty (Compare your descriptions of the “fine and penalties” if he does not take the plea to that of the plea); A hearing to review all evidence on the allegations has not yet taken place; One of the actions Mr. Heffernan is alleged to have done was done on advice of his attorney; Wayne Rose, Andrew Schwab, Barbara Morris did not want to comment or were unavailable for comment!

You ran the story anyway, ignoring the impact it would have on Mr. Heffernan, his family, his business, and his reputation, and you did this, apparently, based solely upon totally unsubstantiated claims by the government; claims which, as you have presented them in you piece, appear to be fact when they have not yet been proven as fact. Roughly 28% of the article had quotes from Brian while 72% of the article space was used to discuss the allegations! You never followed up with Mr. Heffernan’s attorney about the advice he gave Brian and which Brian followed. Had you corroborated this fact and written about it in the article the people might gain better insight to the truth, and a fairer and more balanced article would have resulted.

You, in effect, convicted Mr. Heffernan in the “publics eye’s” by spinning this piece as you did! Unfortunately for Mr. Heffernan you have printed such a piece before he has been found guilty of anything! The article makes it extremely  difficult for Brian to focus  on the allegations made by the State. Your inaccurate portrayal,  forces him to contend with other aspects of his life which up until your article were not affected by these allegations by the State.

Your article serves no immediate purpose to the public good; you cannot say your piece is designed to keep the public informed so they can be protected from evil; if the State thought Mr. Heffernan was a threat to the public in his current role as a real estate broker, they could have immediately suspended him from practicing! 

Since Brian was (I am sure) not the source of the information which brought this issue to your attention in the first place, and I am sure the State Department of the State of New York was not the source of the information first alerting you to the fact that allegations may be made against Brian; where did you, or more importantly, whom did you get the tip off from that Mr. Heffernan was the subject of an investigation and allegations having been filed? Could your source have been one of the other people mentioned in the article, one of those who refused comment or were not available for comment? Or  was it one of their associates or friends?

In my opinion, you were the only one served by this article. The “Wave” is not served by this type of, “guilty until proven innocent form of journalism”, and neither are your readers.

Here is the Brian Heffernan I know!

I sought out Brian, sometime in early to mid July 2004, to manage a rental property I owned in Arverne. Mr. Heffernan told me his business did not include managing properties, but he listened to my situation and decided nevertheless to assist me. His expertise and his connections with a variety of other business professionals facilitated my search for an attorney to resolve my problem, and with no up front out of pocket costs to me. I should add that other attorney referrals  resulted in requests for substantial up front costs to begin the process and monthly payments to continue working on it. When I decided to sell the property, even though the existing problem was not yet solved, Brian immediately began his search for buyers; knowing, that until the current rental issue was resolved getting a buyer to look at the property might be impossible to do. He kept in constant contact with me on all points concerning the property sales process. Never did I feel that I was not getting “the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth” about our all aspects of our relationship. Brian sold my property for about 95% of my asking price and assisted me in so many other ways that, if he was up for “Man Of The Year” I would vote for him!



Heffernan A Hard Worker

Dear Editor,

My property is presently on the market and listed with most of the real estates in Rockaway, in addition to Heffernan Realty. Mr. Heffernan recently did an open house on my property and continues to advertise and show it in a professional manner. Sadly my property has still not sold. If there is any way you can put my letter in you newspaper I would be grateful. If not, let me simply say I think Mr. Heffernan is a gentleman and I look forward to his continued representation of my interest.

Mr. Editor, surely you can do better than this. My understanding is that Heffernan Realty competes with all the larger real estate offices in Rockaway. I further think he does this by himself without a storefront office. I know he works seven days a week- selling, listing- and doing open houses. I respect Mr. Heffernan, he is truly a hard worker. May he prevail triumphantly through this mess.


Heffernan Responds

Dear Editor,

I would first like to thank so many who have called me with their support.

Any intelligent reader can hopefully now see what a sucker a few cunning individuals made of me. The old proverbial squeeze was on, and I was in the middle.

They say every cloud has a silver lining, I guess only time will tell.

It would seem that the documents the Wave received anonymously last week were the same copies sent to many of the local real estate offices in the area.

All of these documents were altered with black marker to conceal one name. That name as per the original documents was Wayne Rose. This is the Broker who made the original allegations against me, and the same Broker who subsequently had his license to practice real estate in N.Y. removed. I cannot state for a fact that he was the sender, but you can draw your own conclusions. My attorney and the State Department are presently working to resolve this matter. Any further comment on my part at this point in time would be imprudent, and could only serve to complicate this matter further.

Again, I would like to thank my many friends, business acquaintances, past and present customers and clients for their support. Wishing you all a happy and a healthy holiday.



Heffernan Helps Not Hurts

Dear Editor,

My name is George Gerges. I have been in business here in the Rockaway for over 21 years. I own U.S. Kids Wear, located on Beach 20 Street in Far Rockaway.

I have purchased and sold many properties through Mr. Heffernan, owner of Heffernan Realty. I originally came to know Mr. Heffernan through the real estate business, and later as a personal friend. I know what a seller’s agent is, and how that differs from a buyer’s agent. I know that when D. Brian Heffernan is representing me in the sale of one of my properties that he represents me as a seller’s agent, and he does so with vigor and tact. Brian recently did an open house for a property I own in Rockaway Park. I overheard a potential buyer ask Brian, as I’m sure they often do: What’s this guy’s bottom line? Brian’s response was simply, and I quote, “no offense meant but you would have to make an offer to find out.” He went on to say that while the owner was motivated, he was by no means desperate.

He added that, although he was not privy to what the owner might ultimately accept, he believed that it would be much less than the full asking price. Brian has helped me in so many ways in respect to real estate, and personally as a friend. I am totally appalled that The Wave, or anyone else for that matter would depict him as anything less than a community minded gentleman.

Were there no murders in Rockaway last week? Was there no good news or deeds done in the community? Was it such that The Wave could not have anything other than this unproven garbage to entertain the community with? I am sure that there are those who took great pleasure in reading this junk about Mr. Heffernan. I am equally sure however, knowing Brian as I do, that there will be far more people in our community who will come to Mr. Heffernan’s defense, than there will be to the contrary.

I for one look forward to not reading this newspaper in the future. I do not know you Mr. Schwach and I have no desire to. Should I ever have this misfortune to meet you Mr. Schwach, be assured that I will immediately run to the nearest wall and put my back to it for obvious reasons. Shame on you editor!



Heffernan’s A Honest Man

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to the front-page story of December 9 on Brian Heffernan.

I was shocked to read the front-page story about Brian Heffernan, a man I have known and have done business with for many years. He is an honest and upstanding member of our community.

I can’t understand why the Wave was in such a hurry to go to get this story out. Under our laws this man is innocent until a court decides his fate. Printing the story now probably could have destroyed this man’s good name and his ability to conduct his business. I think the paper should have waited until all the facts were in before going to press.


Innocent Until

Proven Guilty

Dear Editor,

As a former associate of West End Realty during D. Brian Heffernan’s tenure, I had the opportunity to observe his professional demeanor.

In the rough and tumble world of real estate, D. Brian Heffernan was hardworking and very persistent, which is reflected in his own success in the business.

Without knowing the specifics of the complaint filed with the State Department (you failed to identify how this came to your attention), it was published as a lead story, allegations of misconduct does D. Brian a disservice.

In this country you are innocent until proven guilty. Although the damage has been done to D. Brian’s professional reputation, which is printable in the real estate business, I hope you give him an opportunity to respond and publish on your front page.


Nonsense’ Won’t Save

The Peninsula

Dear Editor,

The citizens of the Rockaways are in great danger from hurricanes, Northeasters, and tsunamis. It seems to us that most of our elected officials have shown us that they could care less about this problem, since we are one of the first areas to get hit with anything. Why is it that no one here shows any interest in doing anything about it?

We have a good online running Weather Station down here in the east. Why is it that certain persons down the west side have seen fit to try and set up their own weather services? It seems to us that it is the east end fighting the west end for a service like this, since the City of New York has shown us that they could care less about the dangers to the community.

We have found that dedicated volunteer emergency services, based in the Rockaways, can not seem to get any public or elected officials backing within the Rockaways. The temples and churches have shown us that they are into their own thing and could care less about the dangers to our area. Why is it that the Mayor’s office, and the fire and police departments, could care less about the dangers to the area?

Why do the volunteer organizations here have to fight to get the public to listen to the dangers at hand? Why is it that we are unable to pass out flyers and booklets from the U.S. Government about the dangers that could hit us? What gets us upset is that this newspaper prints nonsense with items such as the border problems between Queens and Nassau.

In overlooking the problems at hand, we feel that it is more important that the Rockaways get together as one body and solve this problem, not have each and every agency do its thing. We have thousands of flyers and booklets available to give out to the public, and we are unable to give them out.

We would like to give them out to the public. It can help save lives. We cannot continue for one organization to fight another one. We are having an open house for the Weather Station on January 6 at 125 Beach 19 Street in the tower. All elected officials, media, and certain members of the community are invited to attend the open house from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. We would like you to come and see for yourself how it works. We need more route evacuation signs in the Rockaways. Nassau County has a very good system of evacuation. Why can’t we have the same?

The City of New York will never do anything for us, since all the officials who can do something for us work in downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan. This is no way to run an emergency service. There should be a commissioner to take charge of all volunteer emergency services within the city.

There should be a borough commissioner (like the Parks Department has) to take charge of all volunteer organizations in each borough. This is the proper way of doing things. The city is 20 years behind the times. Each agency now is doing its own thing and does not know what the other is doing, and this can lead to danger and the loss of lives in the Rockaways.

Your newspaper must get involved with this project and not go around printing nonsense letters that do not mean a thing.

Lives will be lost. We must take steps in advance to fix this problem. The paper must set up town hall meetings on this subject for only the public, and invite other agencies to respond to the meeting (not just the Red Cross who took over the last meeting). Let’s get out and do something about it.




Both Clark and Michelangelo Missed Deadlines

Dear Editor,

I am getting a little tired of reading the constant attacks on artist Patrick Clark. I don't know the details of the situation regarding the Tribute Park, but I know something about art and I have seen Mr. Clark's work. I don't think it is always possible, or desir-able, to put a firm deadline on crea-tive genius.

It certainly can't be compared to a newspaper deadline, as the last arti-cle tried to do. I also think that it would be a much greater disservice to those who were lost in the World Trade Center and their loved ones if the artist rushed to meet a deadline and did less than optimal work.

A sloppy newspaper article may be remembered for a few weeks, but Tribute Park (hopefully) will be here forever. I think most people would be willing to wait a little longer in order to get the best possible results. Michelangelo was often late in finish-ing his projects and also met with much criticism for it. So, if it is any consolation, Mr. Clark is in very good company.


Thanks For Giving This Holiday Season

Dear Editor,

On Behalf of all of the people of Saint Mary Star of the Sea Parish in Far Rockaway I would like to thank all of the generous people of the peninsula for their generosity in assisting those most in need in our community during Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Over the last few weeks since Thanksgiving our parish has received generous donations from so many. In particular we are especially grateful to the Rockaway Irish Boys for organizing once again a wonderful Thanksgiving food collection. Thanks to the R.I.B.’s and all of the generous people of Belle Harbor and Rockaway our parish was able to feed over 500 families this Thanksgiving! These fine young men gave of their time and talent to assist those most in need during the holiday season. They along with the Graybeards, the residents of Belle Harbor and Neponsit, the parishioners of St. Francis De Sales and St. Thomas More Churches, Randy Lee, Margert Community Corporation and countless others who gave so much. We are so grateful for the kindness and generosity that was so evident over these last few weeks.

The people of this great community should be very proud to be a part of such a generous and loving neighborhood. Thanks to all who gave so much!




Park In Full Progress

Dear Editor,

For the record, the creation of the dome for Tribute Park is still in full progress as you read this.  Despite various delays and differences the process of building this unique and ultimately spectacular artwork is ongoing. 

You are entitled to your opinion of Patrick Clark, but to call him a “Fraud” is at best wholly inaccurate as time will reveal. 

For those of you reading this who have very personal and emotional interests invested in this project’s completion, I can assure you that Patrick is not a man who takes this responsibility lightly.




Breakfast With Santa

Big Success

Dear Editor,

On behalf of the 100 Precinct Community Council, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who attended “Breakfast With Santa 2005.”

This year’s event proved to be a tremendous success and has launched us well on our way to “National Night Out Against Crime” fireworks display on August1, 2006. The Council is always grateful for the community’s support.

On a more personal note, I have a great many people to thank for all their help. Chief among them is Steve Good and the staff of the Beach Club, especially Theresa and Donna. I must also thank Santa and his elves; Sandee, Bernadette, Nancy, Joann, Joe, Danny and Doug for the fine job they all did.

Also, thanks must go out to Arverne by the Sea and its staff. Their generous donations enabled us to provide the gifts that Santa presented to all the children. A very special thanks to all the members and children of the Rockaway Theater Company. Their joyous renditions of holiday songs brought pleasure and cheer to all during both seatings.

In conclusion, and again on behalf of the 100 Precinct Community Council, I’d like to extend to all a most happy and healthy holiday season and New Year.




Principal To Save School

Dear Editor,

Just when I was about to leave P.S. 114 along comes Mr. Stephen P. Grill our new principal, I.A. In the tradition of Mr. Arnold Wittenstein and Mrs. Dorris Satter, two former exemplary principals of the school, Mr. Grill is a visionary who promises to be the ideal principal.

After a two-year period of micro-management, which has been referred to by many of us as “a reign of terror,” it seems that God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the school again. Mr. Grill is able to strike a balance between a nurturing environment that provides structure, a continuity of instruction and a blueprint for excellence in our school.

Mr. Grill’s greatest accomplishment, in my opinion, is the feeling of camaraderie that pervades the school once more. I believe that this type of good fellowship starts with a principal like Mr. Grill who shows respect and appreciation for the efforts of his students, their teachers and parents. This is probably an over-simplification, but this kind of respect is contagious and has certainly created a sense of euphoria among us. Many of my colleagues have confided that their confidence and self-esteem have been restored. Heather Gottdank, a fourth grade teacher, was effusive in her praise for Mr. Grill. “There’s a sense of togetherness in the school…. I feel appreciated…. his devotion to the kids is very impressive.” Gina Machado, our ESL teacher added, “I’ve worked for several principals over the past ten years. None has been as approachable and quick to listen…it’s a pleasure to watch Mr. Grill interact with the students.” Judith Davidson, our literacy specialist reflected, “administrators have a choice they can put stumbling blocks or stepping stones before us. Mr. Grill has provided the latter.”

We are convinced that if given the chance Mr. Stephen Grill will steer our beloved school-ship out of troubled waters and sail us gloriously into a prestigious future with the stars overhead bright and attainable. Thank you Dr. Kathleen Cashin, this time you’ve picked us a winner!



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