2006-01-20 / Letters


All The Business Going To B. 129 Street

Dear Editor,

Now I know who came up with the great parking plan on Beach 116 Street. It must have been one or all of the storeowners on Beach 129 Street. That is where all of the business is going.


Fond Memories Of American Irish Band

Dear Editor,

Your article and accompanying photo in Historical Views from the January 6, 2006 edition of The Wave brought back many fond memories of the American Irish Band.

It was a great experience for my four children, two of whom still play instruments as teachers.

Memories of the St. Patrick’s Day dance and the good times will always remain.


Wonderful Teacher Pushed Out By The System

Dear Editor,

Nancy Meritt was a wonderful teacher. She was skilled enough to know that if you love children, you teach children, and the scores on their tests will reveal this influence. She was an old-fashioned teacher, which was such a breath of fresh air, since many newer teachers are teaching to the test, as per the Administration or Region.

Nancy Meritt is a teacher who loved her students and she was loved by them. My son was in her third grade class, and I do not blame her for leaving midyear. Being a teacher as well, I do wonder what could have been so bad that such a dedicated teacher would leave for midyear retirement? I hope everyone realizes another wonderful, experienced teacher has been pushed out of the system for no good reason.


Praises PHC

Dear Editor,

A few days ago, I was admitted to the Peninsula Hospital for kidney stones. From the triage nurse to my release, I was treated with kid gloves; never an “uffa” or a sign of being disturbed or annoyed. From Dr. Grossman, a substitute for my regular Dr. Pearl, to Dr. Pike, the urologist in charge for the day, to the nurses and nurse-aids, their professionalism and dedication were overwhelming. They made my stay at the hospital a little less unbearable. While in the hospital, I experienced an episode that as strange as it seems, happened. While I was “parked” in a corridor, ready to be taken to the x-ray room, I was in such pain; pains that made me twitch like a worm. Few people from the corridor came to comfort me.

At one point I felt a hand on my chest. I turned around and saw Ms. Liz Sulik. Even though I never met her, I knew her for the many essential roles she has in our community.  I said “Hi.” She took my wrist (to check the name) and said, “Hi, Angelo, I am Liz Sulik, Public Relation for the Hospital. Angelo, don’ t worry, the doctor said that everything will be all right.” At that point a nurse wheeled me to the x-ray room and then back to the corridor. I was still in pains. There, waiting for me was Sulik. She took my hands and again assured me that everything was going to be all right. At that time, as I took her hands, magic, slowly but surely, was taking place. My unbearable pains started to disappear. Looking in her eyes I said thank you very much, my pains are gone. She looked at me astonished, as I just gave her a compliment. No, no, it is not a compliment, it is the truth; my pains are gone.  Call it a coincidence, call it the right place at the right time, I call it magic.  Later I told my wife, my daughter, my son, the doctor and the nurse; they all laughed, they all believed I was kidding.

I frankly don’t care if they believed me or not, the important thing for me was the disappearance of those unbearable pains. For the next two days Sulik came to my room early in the morning with a newspaper. She made sure I was getting the right treatments. She was still laughing at the episode of the day before and I am sure she will be for a while.

I sincerely thank the entire staff of the Peninsula Hospital for their loving dedication.

A special thank to Sulik for her much appreciated, unselfish care.... ..........and “keep that wand working.”   


Sports Permit In Jeopardy Because Of St. Camillus ‘Fans’

Dear Editor,

I would like our neighbors at St. Camillus to know what Mr. Sal Lalumia, who represents their sports program, has been up to.

Mr. Lalumia coaches the St. Camillus Boys CYO basketball team, junior division. These are high school juniors and seniors under 18 years of age.

On Friday, December 9, 2005, Mr. Lalumia came to MS 180 on Beach 104 Street to play against the St. Virgilius squad, coached by Mr. Jack Palmer. All of our neighbors at St. Camillus are familiar with the reasons why we play our home games at MS 180. What they may not know is that we pay $5,000 to $7,000 annually to use the gym. Every year the rental of the gym threatens to put the basketball program out of business. Any unanticipated costs make an impossible situation tougher.

Mr. Lalumia also had a large contingency of “fans” with him, most aged from 15 or 16 to 23 or so, not little kids by any standard. First of all, the “fans” all refused to give an admission donation to watch the game. Instead, they chose to stay in the hall creating mischief. During the fourth quarter, about a dozen of these “fans” snuck up to the second floor of the school and wrecked the bulletin boards in the hallway. Then they went into a classroom and destroyed an eleven-year-old’s art project. A custodian saw the vandals and reported it to Mr. Palmer, who immediately tried to resolve the situation.

Mr. Lalumia was confrontational, evasive, and even denied knowing any of his team’s “fans.” Finally, he said, “You ought to be more careful about who you let in here.” He’s correct, because that night was the last time Mr. Lalumia will ever be welcomed at our gym.

I have waited for a while to write this, hoping Mr. Lalumia would take responsibility or make a gesture. Neither has been forthcoming.

The week after the incident we were informed by the principal of MS 180 that our permit to use the gym was in jeopardy because of the vandalism. So far, that has not happened, but we have been forced to pay an additional $3,000 for school security services. This is critical, because we have been unable to cover our costs for several years running.

While we were waiting for the apology that never came, Mr. Palmer and I asked a few questions about Mr. Lalumia. It seems that the league is investigating him for disregarding the age restrictions. In other words, he is being accused of playing ringers. What makes Mr. Lalumia noteworthy is not just one or two players, allegedly ineligible to play, but the entire team roster.

The good people at St. Camillus have a right to know who represents their parish. I don’t think Mr. Lalumia is what they had in mind.


‘One Man Band’

Dear Editor,

Touché for Beverly Baxter!!

I was extremely pleased to read Beverly’s column last week wherein she meticulously outlined the enormous contributions of John Lenihan to the Rockaway community.

John is truly a “one man band” when it comes to his commitment, enthusiasm and dedication to the Rockaway Homeowners and Residents Association. For J. Brennan (Wave 1/6 issue) to assail John’s character was totally unfounded and very mean-spirited. The Association should only be so lucky to have more volunteers as committed as John Lenihan!



Letter Was Mean-Spirited

Dear Editor,

The letter from J. Brennan about “Where is the Money Going,” was very mean-spirited about people who do so much for our community. They work countless hours to do good. Nary, Ben, John and Ed try to make our community a better place to live in. We have belonged to the association from the beginning and hope to be for many more years. All they do is good. They can be called on about any problem and they will try to solve it.

People who give time and energy for us should not be criticized. Our community is all the better because of them. I will pay my dues with thanks.


Different Location

Of A Church

Dear Editor,

When I saw the picture of the church (from the 1/13 edition of Historical Views in The Wave), it looked familiar to me.  The caption read Rockaway Beach Boulevard and 126 Street. 

If it’s the church I remember as a kid, it was on Beach 125 Street where the nursing home is currently standing.  There was a church there, however I’m not sure if this was the one.



City To Rockaway:

Drop Dead

Dear Editor,

I read the Wave’s cover article on hurricane preparation with disbelief. It sounded like a step-by-step plan to recreate all the horrors that happened along the Gulf. When I reached the part where the plans included evacuating people by jet skis, I wondered if the lunatics were running the asylum. Can you picture thousands of nursing home residents on rooftops waiting for a ride across Jamaica Bay on the back of a jet ski? The plan even comes complete with a choice of Superdomes—Aqueduct or Brooklyn College— in which evacuees will live for an indefinite period of time.

Meanwhile, every day, I see the Parks Department’s bulldozers flattening the beaches (which Parks’ chief of operations calls “grooming” them), removing any barrier that would stop high tides and surf from washing over the peninsula, and making Rockaway more prone to widespread destruction and loss of life should a hurricane strike. The ocean already washes under the boardwalk at high tide in some places. These are your tax dollars at work.

FEMA’s report on Katrina said that weakened barrier beaches added to the degree of devastation along the Gulf. What are our elected officials doing to reinforce our beaches? Not one thing.

Audrey, where are you? Most likely the Army Corps of Engineers will get another hefty contract to pump sand again, and again, it will all wash away without dunes, jetties and groins to hold it in place. Our mayor says the city has a $1 billion surplus. Why can’t part of it be used to make this community safer? It’s because no one in office really gives a tinker’s damn about Rockaway.

The levees in New Orleans were neglected for years. Had they been attended to, the destruction would have been minimized. I am sure Mayor Mike is looking to his legacy. Will he act to protect this community of 100,000 people, or instead, leave Rockaway’s residents as vulnerable as the people of New Orleans?


St. Pat’s Parade Product Of Hard Work

Dear Editor,

In the Letters to the Editor from the December 30 issue of The Wave, you published a letter written by one Grace McClusky.

In her haste to hurt the parade committee and vilify its president, Ms. McClusky has opened her mouth and inserted her oversized foot! McClusky’s letter reveals a malcontented, vicious little person who suffers from a complete ignorance of parade committee history, operations and protocol. Add to that her suggestion that unionists are enriching parade committee members and you have a person who is tripping over her words in an attempt to do damage. (A “unionist” is a person who seeks to maintain the union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland) I can assure you that nobody like Ian Paisley is enriching anybody around here!

Perhaps Ms. McClusky also suffers from schizophrenia. I make this suggestion because she repeatedly refers to herself as “we.”

For the past 30 years, the parade committee has labored long and hard to deliver the great event to the people of Queens. With the help and generosity of local businesses, this year’s parade is shaping up as the best ever.

As with all things in Rockaway, there are those who volunteer to do the hard work and those who sit back and criticize. Ms. McClusky belongs to the latter group.

Personally, I shall pray to our patron, St. Patrick, that Ms. McClusky be relieved of all her maladies.

On Saturday, March 4, 2006 the Queens County St. Patrick’s Day Parade will step off from Newport Avenue and Beach 129 Street. As always, I hope that the whole town will join us in honoring the patron saint of Ireland and New York City, St. Patrick.


B. 116 Parking

Not Thought Out

Dear Editor,

I just don’t see it. The spaces to park from Newport Avenue to the firehouse have been eliminated, with a loss of six to eight spots. Where was this made up? There is absolutely no source of order on how to park. What were they using to determine that this would generate more spots and be safer, a mini Cooper?

First off, the passengers in cars that park in the middle island are at a high risk of being injured by passing cars while exiting their vehicles, especially their children! Delivery trucks can’t park to make deliveries to the merchants, unlike before curbside deliveries. Getting in and out of your car at the curbside is now much more dangerous for the elderly and seniors that need to have their doors fully open to get in or out. I really think this was a big, expensive mistake and was never really thought out.


Two Small Errors

To the Editor,

I found two articles to be in error in your January 13, 2006, edition.

First, St. Andrew’s Church was, in fact, located at the NW corner of Beach 125 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, which is now the site of a nursing home.

Second, in December, 1964, I was serving as a Fire Control Technician on board the USCGC SPENCER (WPG 36) stationed in St George, Staten Island.

At that time we were in Bermuda on SAR standby duty. I was scheduled to fly home on leave for Christmas. Before my leave commenced, we received a SAR recall and were soon steaming toward the Azores.

Arriving at the scene, we found the M/V SMITH VOYAGER dead in the water and listing 15 degrees to port. She was carrying a cargo of loose grain and due to a burst steam pipe, the cargo became waterlogged and shifted, causing the ship to list dangerously in the heavy seas. Upon our arrival, we removed the crew to safety except for the Captain who was determined to stay with his vessel. The captain of the SPENCER offered to take the Smith Voyager in tow, but her Captain declined, stating that his company had already dispatched a seagoing tug from Norfolk, Virginia.

We stood by for three days until the tug arrived and put a line aboard the SMITH VOYAGER whose captain was then transferred to the tug and they proceeded to steam for Norfolk at about 2 kts. Our responsibility ended, we set course for Norfolk with the rescued crew members. After we arrived in Norfolk, we received word that the tug and the SMIITH VOYAGER ran into a storm and that the SMITH VOYAGER capsized and sank.

I mean to take nothing away from ROCKAWAY’s distinguished service record but, in this instance, she just wasn’t there.


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