2006-02-17 / Columnists

It’s My Turn

By Scott Ruscillo

My parents Danny and Linda Ruscillo have done a lot of work on problems in our Community.

They both attend Community meetings monthly. My father is on the 100 Precinct Community Council, which deals with issues within the Community. My mother is a member of Community Board 14’s Transportation Committee. I have so many memories through the years of my parents scrambling in our house to write letters to the newspapers, television stations, and politicians to make them aware of an important issue or ask for their assistance. Yes everyone has their options on certain issues that my parents have worked on to change, however their only goal is to help the Community. Some of the past issues my parents have worked on include the demonstration at J.F.K Airport. Their goal was to have the planes fly the water route to prevent the planes from flying directly over the peninsula, in order to avoid the possibility of another crash similar to flight 587 and also the constant noise the planes cause. 

Another issue would be a more recent one which deals with the building on the corner of Beach 124 street and Rockaway Beach Blvd. This one had the most affect on me due to the fact that people in the building were shooting at me and others with BB guns, throwing dangerous items out the windows almost injuring my niece on one occasion and breaking car windows.

The police were called on countless occasions by us and many people living in the vicinity of the building. Not all of the people in the building were considered community problems, but there were drug deals going on right in front of my home as well as that of my neighbors. Clearly something had to be done. Since no one else stepped up to the plate my father Danny had enough. He tried desperately to contact the owner of the building, which took much work. The owner was basically hiding behind many barriers. When my father would come home from a hard day of work, he would start right away by making phone calls etc. One night I received a knock on my window, it was a man asking to speak to my father. I was very startled since the time was 1:30 in the morning. The man claimed he had to speak to my father right away, about the building. While I was speaking to the deranged looking man I heard more voices up towards the front of our walkway. This told me this man didn’t only want to speak to my father, but wanted to teach him a lesson for trying to get the building cleaned up. I figured this was serious so I woke my father up.

When my father awoke he told the threatening man at our window “are you out of your mind.” The man told my father to come outside “right now” so my father being a man with a brain said no. By now our German Shepard was startled and began to bark. The man in the window said ok please don’t let the dog I will leave. When he left we called the police immediately. The police came and said “you’re smart for not going out, sir” due to the fact that whoever these people were they wanted to get their hands on my father since he was taking on the problem with this building. In the morning we found our car tires slashed which was a clear warning that this man and his friends meant serious business.

Eventually my father found the owner and brought much attention to the building with letters to The Wave, neighbors, contacting our Community Board 14 and calls to the police by us and others. These two examples are only the beginning of the issues which my parents took on. I am proud of the hard work that my parents have put into the Community, they have been quoted in many different newspapers including the Wave. Our neighbors are also very appreciative of having such Muckrakers on our block, since they are people not afraid to take on issues in our Community. I would like to explain many other issues my parents have been involved in however they are countless.

A cool way to find many quotes and newspaper articles on these issues is to type in their whole name in Google on the Internet, many past letters and issues in our Community will show up. At one point my parents brought CBS 2 to Rockaway to interview them and others, which was an interesting experience. Lately they are asked by others in the Community for assistance. They are now seen as people who care about the well being of this microcosm of New York City.  

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