2006-01-27 / Letters

Letters

A Lack Of Common Sense

Dear Editor,

Those who instituted the new parking rules show a complete lack of common sense.

They have “closed” the entire length of  B.116 to automobile parking from 7:30 to 8:00 a.m.  six days a week.

No more stopping by for coffee or a newspaper or to do wash etc.

It should be obvious to anyone with common sense that the sweeping time either be alternated by day or by time (as is done on Beach 129 street).

Who can affect the change?

A. MEYERS

A Light Has Gone Out

In Rockaway

Dear Editor,

A gentle person who had a big smile and always a good word has passed from Rockaway.

Perhaps you knew him. He was a regular at Dunkin Donuts and the boardwalk at Beach 124 Street. He spent his days sitting in a motorized wheelchair. His name was Dennis Higgins. Though he had multiple handicaps, to his neighbors he was our unofficial goodwill ambassador, doorman, baseball historian and news reporter.

He had many faithful friends; in particular I’m sure he is smiling down on Danny Lopez, Joanne Brand and Peggy Moerler.

Dennis had two dreams- one was to gain full use of his limbs and the other was to live in an oceanfront apartment. An angel by the name of Danny made the second dream a reality. Dennis was ecstatic.

In Dennis’ quiet way he taught all who were fortunate to know him gratitude, humility and patience. He accepted his life and was grateful to God for the gift of life.

Dennis went home to God on January 14. He will be greatly missed. A light has gone out in Rockaway.

A memorial mass will be celebrated at St. Francis de Sales on Saturday, February 4, 12 noon.

BARBARA LEAHY

Rockaway Park

Needs An Identity

Dear Editor,

The community of Rockaway Park has an identity crisis.

As you know, awhile back, a new restaurant opened on Beach 116 Street, a miracle in and of itself. Unfortunately, the restaurant is named Belle Harbor Steak and Seafood. Except it’s not in Belle Harbor, it’s in Rockaway Park. My guess is that “Belle Harbor” carries more cachet and enabled the owners to price their meals accordingly.

Then there’s Accentuate, a great new high-tech lighting store on Rockaway Beach Boulevard between Beach 114 Street and 115 Street. It’s very clean, very tres chic. Very SoHo. Nothing I can afford. Except their business card says they’re in Rockaway Beach. But they’re not in Rockaway Beach; they’re in Rockaway Park. Obviously, “Rockaway Beach” has more cachet, being world famous for past glamour and all that stuff.

So I have an excellent idea for Joan Omeste, Director of the Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways. Rather than spending all of your time running around town, trying to justify and exalt this fiasco the chamber helped to create on Beach 116 Street, why not gather some public relations people together and create an identity for Rockaway Park.

My thought here is that owners who open businesses in Rockaway Park shouldn’t be ashamed of saying that they opened a business in Rockaway Park.

RICHARD J. VENEZIANO

A Transition For

Katrina Evacuees

The following letter was written to Mayor Michael Bloomberg by State Senator Malcolm A. Smith, 14th District.

Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

I write to you concerning the policy of the City of New York with respect to apartment leases for the evacuees of Hurricane Katrina. I thank you in advance for your diligent consideration in this most important manner.

New York City has opened her arms to the displaced families of this most thoroughgoing natural disaster, and indeed, we would expect no less from the locus of eternal welcome to emigrants far and wide, over hundreds of years. We now stand at a critical juncture relative to Katrina evacuees who must prepare themselves for transition from hotel shelter to apartment leases.

I am in receipt of a copy of correspondence, dated December 19, 2005, from NYC Office of Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno to DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff. Therein, a strong position is articulated concerning why the City is hesitant to directly sign leases on behalf of Katrina evacuees. I respect and understand the position of the City in this matter, but due to the absolute importance of this issue, I would be remiss if I did not ask for further consideration and exploration of related options.

Given the hurdles and pitfalls that accompany the direct signing of leases by the City, I would respectfully suggest that the City consider aggressively partnering with one or more of the third party non-profit housing organizations who are currently involved in the relocation process. The goal of such a direct partnership would be to expedite the identification of available apartments and register agreement to leases, which can be fully reimbursed, so long as a governmental entity is involved in some manner, under Section 403 of the Stafford Act. The current deadline for reimbursable leases is January 7, 2006. If a more targeted partnership approach is not amenable, I would respectfully ask you to consider the option of creating a new entity, perhaps a type of Limited Liability Company that would seek to enter into one year, fully reimbursable leases with Katrina families in the City of New York. Due to the extreme circumstances that surround this particular situation, such an approach, or others similar to it, deserve to be fully explored.

I am confident that our City has the resources, expertise and willingness to help these Katrina families to transition from hotel shelter to a more permanent housing situation. I appreciate your consideration of my ideas immensely and I stand ready to assist you in any way possible to move forward in a solution-oriented way.

MALCOLM A. SMITH

Diamonds To Lew Simon

Dear Editor,

I would like to commend you on your annual “Diamond Awards” to those who helped Rockaway this past year. And I must add:

Diamonds, not only to the parents and the business committee of St. Virgilius School, but also to Lew Simon, Democratic District Leader, who worked tirelessly to keep this small school open after the Brooklyn Diocese announced the school’s closing. Looking back on the retraction of the original Diocesan decision, I feel that this reversal was due very largely to the support of Lew Simon. He worked hard to interest the merchants of our community: Waldbaum’s, Wendy’s et. al., in this cause. Simon, the parents, and grade-schoolers made every “grass roots” effort successful, by manning the “front lines.”

It is therefore, with a special gratitude, that we salute understanding, generous friends like Lew Simon, who came together to get this job done and saved St. Virgilius School. Let’s give credit where credit is due.

DR. EILEEN M. MCCABE

Express Bus Service

To Manhattan

Dear Editor,

I am writing to you in hopes that you can insert some information regarding the new Express Bus Service we have in Rockaway, courtesy of MTA Bus. It’s not that this is a new service as you know, but we now have new buses. These new buses are fabulous, coach buses with very comfortable seating. You would have to contact the MTA to get the specifics as far as how many passengers it holds. The fare is $5 per person via MetroCard or coins.

This link, www.greenbus.com/2003summerpdf/QM17%209_4_00w.pdf will give you the schedule of the buses. There is one bus from Rockaway Park (QM16) and two from Far Rockaway (QM17).

I’m hoping that more people will fill up these buses in the Rockaways and Broad Channel, so we won’t have to stop along Woodhaven Boulevard all the way to the LIE to pick up passengers to fill up the empty seats. If we could do that, it would truly be Express Service. There is no standing room allowed on these buses, once the seats are filled, the bus has to go its destination.

As of right now, these buses are midtown buses. The stops start at 3rd Avenue and 34th Street and then it runs west to 6th Avenue and then north on 6th Avenue to 57th street, where it runs east back to 3rd Avenue.

Hopefully in the near future, there will be Express Bus Service for our downtown neighbors as well, but as of now they don’t have any bus service.

If you could let the Rockaway readers know of this service, maybe we can finally see better service for the Rockaways.

COLLEEN DONOHUE

Boycott Gas Stations In Rockaway

Dear Editor,

I am writing in reference to the outrageous gas prices we are faced with in our community.

As I proceed east on Beach 116 Street I see Exxon and Mobil with prices that are utterly ridiculous that my biggest hope is that I don’t need to stop. As I enter Howard Beach/Ozone Park it is only then that I can “gas up.”

We need to be more conscious of our gas gauges so we can refill off the peninsula, because we’re suckers if we don’t.

It behooves me to think that our community must be subjected to these prices and feel we can only fight through this by gassing up elsewhere. We must stick together and do a simple chore: to be conscious of our gauges so we do not need to use the gas stations on the peninsula.

I would be curious to see the reaction by the station owners if we could all follow this simple chore. The difference over one month for one vehicle is substantial (as I know) and if we factor in half of you that read this, the reaction of such owners probably wouldn’t surprise us. Please think of what is happening. Can we do something about it? Are any elected officials looking into this? The answers are unknown to us but my message is to read, think and plan. We are only able to do so much. This much I know: Don’t run out of gas in ROCKAWAY.

JOHN RAPHAEL

Is Bin Laden Kidding?

Dear Editor,

Are you kidding me? Osama Bin Laden has popped up once again from his hole in the ground and produced yet another film production for mass circulation.

The thug states a new attack “is being prepared and you’ll see it in your homeland very soon” and then continues his pathetic chatter saying,” we do not mind establishing a long-term truce between us and you, based on just conditions.” Yeah, right.

As far as I am concerned, if he is that interested in bringing his production film play to New York or Washington, the Ossining Correctional Facility upstate New York sounds like a fitting, long-term truce and just condition for this wacko.

Sounds more and more as if he is hearing footsteps near his pillow. As for the Democrats in Washington who are helping to feed Bin Laden with raw meat to throw at us, it’s time to cease the verbal attacks on our elected government. The end result might not be so pretty.

KEVIN KAMEN

Need More People To Ride

Dear Editor,

I am writing to you in hopes that maybe you can insert some information regarding the new Express Bus Service we have in Rockaway courtesy of MTA Bus. It’s not that this is new service as you know, but we now have new buses. These new buses are fabulous. They are coach buses with very comfortable seating. You would have to contact the MTA to get the specifics as far as how many passengers it holds. The fare is $5 per person via MetroCard or coins.

The link below will give you the schedule of these buses. There is one bus from Rockaway Park (QM16) and two from Far Rockaway (QM17). http://www.greenbus.com/2003summerpdf/QM16_QM17%209_4_00w.pdf.

I’m hoping that more people will fill up these buses in the Rockaways and Broad Channel, so we won’t have to stop along Woodhaven Boulevard all the way to the LIE to pick up passengers to fill the empty seats. If we could do that, it would truly be Express Service. There is no standing room allowed on these buses, once the seats are filled, the bus has to go to its destination.

As of right now, these buses are midtown buses. The stops start at 3rd Ave. & 34th Street and then it runs west to 6th Ave. and then north on 6th Avenue to 57th Street, where it runs east back to 3rd Avenue.

Hopefully in the near future, there will be Express Bus Service for our Downtown neighbors as well, but as of now they don’t have any bus service.

If you could let the Rockaway readers know of this service, maybe we can finally see better service for the Rockaways.

COLLEEN DONOHUE

No Need For Synagogue Controversy

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to your article about a new home for the Derech Emunoh Synagogue.

Why not allow the synagogue to occupy an “end unit” in the ABS project

itself? With slight modification, one of the current “models” could be easily adapted for a synagogue.

For example, those units already have two kitchens and the roof top terrace already has the “frame” for a great sukkah.

Not unlike the small neighborhood synagogues in other parts of Queens and Brooklyn that are imbedded in residential areas - such an approach allows attaining the legitimate goals of a separate facility for a house of worship while making less costly for both the ABS Project and the Derech Emunoh congregation.

We always work together to keep ALL houses of worship currently in Arverne - they are all peninsula assets already “in place” for members of

the community counting on them too.

This important Rockaway infrastructure must be sustained, albeit in a prudent manner.

There is no need for controversy at all.

DAVID LICHENTHAL

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