2006-02-17 / Letters



Dear Editor,

Long, long ago, since George Washington’s time, cartoonists have captured the political events of the day.

A history of the conflicts confronting the United States, reflecting national mood, incidents and personalities are revealed by America’s satirists. No one is spared. The editorial cartoonist waves a powerful pen. His/her message is graphic and the impact is felt by millions.

Ulysses S. Grant is purported to have said in 1868, “Two things elected me, the sword of Sheridan (a great general) and the pencil of Thomas Nast (a famous cartoonist).” The word “nasty” comes from his work.

Editorial cartoons also reveal social history. Costumes of men and women, slave drivers, Bowery boys, popular songs, colloquialisms, slang of the past, slogans, banners, food, drink, tobacco, and street scenes are all depicted.

Symbolic figures such as Uncle Sam, the Republican Elephant and the Democratic Donkey can likewise be traced through these cartoons.

As long as the United States has a free press, the pen and ink satirists of every newspaper will be busy capturing important moments forever.

A friend of mine, a colonel in the army, emailed me from Iraq. He asked if a cartoon of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld inspecting a soldier whose arms and legs were amputated, deeming him to be “battle-hardened,” was grounds for firing the cartoonist.

On the throws of this, the Danish embassy was set on fire. Angry crowds protested a cartoon depicting the prophet wearing a turban shaped like a bomb.

We fought for freedom of expression.

We are now liberating people in the hope of their achieving this right.

These embassies should not be set on fire.

The cartoonist should not be fired.


A Tip For The Mayor

Dear Editor,

Gleefully, our local newspapers reported last week on Bloomberg’s brouhaha here in Queens. The NY Times, The Daily News and Rockaway’s own The Wave have all speculated that the world’s richest Mayor (a Republican himself) might back/support/fund local Democrats to run against Queens Republican incumbents.

I’m writing  - in the greatest humility - to offer my Mayor a recommendation and my Republican District Leader - also quoted in last week’s Wave - a challenge.

Mr. Mayor, with all due respect, your idea is excellent: your execution wrong-headed. 

No doubt, Mr. Mayor, Albany is delinquent - at best - in managing New York’s affairs. People have been moving out & away from New York State by the hundreds of thousands for the last twenty years. The Albany ‘process’ is broken and Albany’s record of achievement is abysmal.    Massive corruption, the nation’s highest taxes (by far), and stifling over-regulation are the headlines...the details include declining employment, billions in wasteful spending, tens of billions in fraud, and a State Assembly body that works day & night to protect the rights of convicted sex perverts, gun runners and gang violence.  

Mr. Mayor, use your money to root out the old guard - New York’s  corruptors - who have progressively destroyed New York State. Yes, Mr. Mayor, back a can-do Republican optimist to run and win in New York’s 64th Assembly District.  That incumbent, Mr. Mayor - not State Senator Serphin Maltesse - has personally back-stabbed you & vilified you publicly for the last 4 years.  That people’s politician, your Honor, refuses to attend cops’ funerals...’I don’t do cop’s funerals’ he says...and, insists that convicted sex perverts have rights, too! The NY Daily News describes Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver thus...”Wrong, Wrong, Wrong”.

Further, Mr. Mayor, use your money to benefit New York State and support a Republican candidate for Governor.  AG Eliot Spitzer - if elected - will bring his imperious attitude and litigious life-style to the State House...a devastating nightmare - to be sure -  for Washington Street & the Empire State..

To my Republican District Leader (and his fellow Leader), may I very gently remind you that Senator Maltese does not represent our district, that no Republican represents the Rockaways, that our City Council rep is a Democrat, that our NY State Assembly rep is a Democrat, that our NY State Senate rep is a Democrat, that our US House of Representatives rep is a Democrat and finally that our two US Senate reps are Democrats.  Please, Mr. O’Hare (& Ms. Ariola), I beg you to reach out across your District and the Rockaways as a voice for Lincoln’s humanism, TR’s pragmatic reform & Reagan’s can-do optimism.  Our Peninsula and your district is in great need of bi-partisan representation, and I ask you to work day & night to effect bi-partisanship.


St. Andrew’s Location Discovered

The following letter was written in response to a Historical Views column that asked the location of St. Andrew’s Episcopalian Church, which once stood somewhere in the Belle Harbor area.

Dear Editor,

St. Andrew’s was a mission church, as was St. John’s Episcopalian Church in Far Rockaway, which later merged with Trinity Episcopalian Church in Hewlett.

St. Andrew’s was razed to make way for a nursing home on the corner of Beach 126 Street (on the same side as St. Francis de Sales R.C. Church). A few members who were left joined the First Congregationalist Church on Beach 94 Street, if they didn’t want to travel to the Five Town area.

Trinity St. John’s Episcopal Church, with its churchyard for burials, is one of the oldest churches in the area (with original Tiffany windows).

My great-grandparents came from Europe to Rockaway, and my grandparents and parents were all born in Rockaway.


The Wave Is

A ‘Tabloid’ Paper

Dear Editor,

I do not wish to renew my subscription to your “tabloid.”

It is regrettable that you chose to sensationalize an accident report on your front page (Judge Edward Re), along with a report concerning prostitution, etc.

The Judge has never, and would never, harm anyone or anything, verbally or physically. This was, so sadly, an accident. Our focus is on the well-being and recovery of the child who was involved in this accident. We send our prayers and love to her.

In previous issues, your tabloid reported auto accidents, some with fatalities, on the same insensitive “thrill” level at the expense of the involved families.

If I enjoyed this type of reporting, I would subscribe to the Daily News or The Post, but I do not.


Pheffer Has Always Supported The Community

Dear Editor,

I found the letter to the editor published on January 13, 2006, regarding Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer deeply disturbing. Anyone new to the community might believe everything that was written. However, one must look at the motives of the writer as to why such an attack was made.

I am a resident of Bayswater, Far Rockaway for over 40 years, and I have attended most Bayswater Civic Association meetings. At every meeting that involves Bayswater, Audrey Pheffer or her representative have always been supportive of and a good friend to the community.

In all fairness, I believe letters in support of Audrey Pheffer should also be published in your paper. Thank you.


Keep Diner Open

Dear Editor,

  My name is Alison, and I was upset to hear that the Rockaway Sunset Diner was going to be closing and knocked down.

It was enough to see the Beach Club turned into a catering hall, and closed as a restaurant, since my family and I, and also numerous other people of this community, shared so many memories there.

Now the last family restaurant will be closed for business. I hope the plans will be changed and we will keep our beloved diner.


AGE 12

Should Be Out Of Job

Dear Editor,

I just wanted to thank Assemblywoman Michelle Titus and Fred Simmons of State Senator Malcolm Smith’s office. I truly enjoyed the Action Center show last weekend and also all of the vendors, from HIP Insurance to the Sponge Bob clown.

Based on the letter from Ms. Doe in last weeks paper, I guess the school district did not know that an Assemblywoman was going to be bringing her kids to the event. Maybe if they had known, the rides would have been in the gym. And since when did a janitor become the boss over the school principal and regional superintendent?

Does that man still have his job? I am sure if he were black he would not.


No Mason/Dixon Line

In Rockaway

Dear Editor,

When my child went to MS 180, the school was 90% black and 10% white. My kids had to contend with broken, dim lights in the cafeteria, broken gym floors, and chipped paint on walls. It was amazing to see last weekend when I was at the Action Center program that there was light in the cafeteria, no broken tables, a new gym floor and brightly painted walls. Could it be the fact that the school now is 90% white and 10% black that the changes were made? Hum, I wonder. Could the Region have been somehow afraid that by letting in all those little black kids the building would be messed up for their kids? Could they have worried that we would see the changes and put two and two together? Telling the Action Center to go to MS 198 is to me the same as the Mason/Dixon line in the South. Stay on your side of the tracks. We won’t have it. I can walk to MS 180 from my house, and walk to it I will. Let them try to mess with you and the Action Center, Ms. Doe, and they will see more angry parents than they can imagine. What I think will shock them is that all of us will not be black, but folks who know the value of what you bring to the peninsula and to our children. You have kept your promises to us, and we will keep ours to you. You have done more to bring this community together than the Region ever did. There will be no Mason/Dixon lines. You can count on that.


Supports Action Center

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to the letter to the Action Center parents. I have a child in The Action Center and I am one of the parents who questioned Ms. Doe as to why the program at MS 180 was different this year.

I do appreciate her response in the paper. I do want to say, however, that while Doe might take the Superintendent’s word for it that this will not happen again, I do not.

I want Doe to know that if the Action Center has another problem, not only will the 600 parents who were at the performance come out to support them, but we will bring four family members each with us. We appreciate what the Action Center has done for our children and us.

They have taught so many of us parents that we do not have to settle for the worst education for our kids, or accept being locked out of a neighborhood building. I know I am not just speaking for myself when I say this. So many of us parents had the same reaction to her letter. We are here for you and we will be watching very closely to see how the Action Center is treated. If you need us Ms. Doe, we will come and be there for you, just as you and the Action Center have been here for us.


Can’t Agree With O’Hare

Dear Editor,

Speaking as President of the Rockaway Republicans I want to take issue with Republican District Leader Edward O’ Hare statement in The Wave that “State Senator Serphin Maltese has done nothing for the 23rd District. He’s the one that has us fighting with each other on the peninsula. I’d like to see him out even if that means a Democrat like Addabbo wins his seat.”

Whatever differences our group has had with the State Senator in the past, and there were some, we cannot agree with or condone State Committeeman O’Hare’s support of a Democratic challenger against Senator Maltese. The State Senator has, for 17 years, been an effective legislator in Albany, serving his constituents with a voice of reason in state politics.

Mr. O’Hare’s anger appears misdirected. The Senator’s role as the Queens County Republican Chairman is different from his role as a State Senator. Some may agree with Mr. O’Hare’s desire for new leadership in Queens, but supporting the Senator’s ouster from the state legislature by a Democrat smacks of vindictiveness, not good policy.

Queens residents and, indeed, all New Yorkers, are already woefully underserved by our virtual one-party system in which there are barely any Republicans in office at the local level. Calling for the unseating of one of our last Republican legislators, and a good one to boot, merely because one wants to see a change in the Queens County GOP, is self-defeating and it will only add to the massive imbalance and lack of political choice we’re already faced with out here in the Rockaways. It bears recalling, as well, that City Councilman Addabbo was an early and vocal supporter of Howard Dean for president. Given that, should we have to ask who really should be replaced?




Lew Simon To The Rescue

Dear Editor,

I met District Leader Lew Simon two years ago concerning my water bill. He resolved the problem in a week.

A few weeks later I called upon Lew Simon again for a telephone pole that was leaning toward my house after it was struck by a car. Lew Simon resolved that problem in a week.

Now, two years later, I called upon Lew Simon again with another problem. My grandson was attending karate school on 101 Avenue in Ozone Park. He has very bad asthma and we had to take him out of the school. However, the owner would not return my $450 because he claimed we broke the contract. But all it took was one call from Lew Simon and I received my check for $450.

Lew Simon is the most devoted, sincere, honest and hardworking man I know. He truly is “MY HERO.” I have to thank the water and phone companies for allowing me to be introduced to Lew Simon.



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