2006-04-21 / Letters


Give Your Shirt Dear Editor,

In regards to Teresa Quinn McCloskey's recent comments regarding the altar and Mike Benn.

McCloskey should read the gospel, specifically Luke 27 "To you who hear me, I say; Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you; bless those who curse you and pray for those who maltreat you. When someone slaps you on one cheek, turn and give them the other. When someone takes your coat, let him have your shirt as well. Give to all who beg from you.

"Love your enemy and do good; lend without expecting repayment."

The rest can be looked up in the Bible. Let's not be hypocrites, God does not like ugly. This is lent, love one another. Remember Jesus is in every person.

Happy Easter,


Organization Doesn't Have Rock Park Interests

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to Beverly Baxter's ill-informed tirade against Lew Simon.

For the record, in the matter of the porn shop on Beach 116 Street, a representative of the Rockaway Homeowners and Residents Association told me and claims he was the "first one" to call Lew Simon and tell him "there's a porn shop on Beach 116 Street." Did he take any action- NO. He was not the only one to call Lew Simon about it- I also called Lew Simon about it.

Lew Simon was the one who took action on the porn shop issue, leading demonstrations against it in front of the shop. He and John Baxter went to the owner's home in Staten Island and protested there. I don't remember you, Beverly Baxter, marching on the protest line in front of the porn shop.

Now let's talk about the naming of the street for James Conway Sullivan. For the record, James Conway Sullivan was Lew Simon's friend. Lew was the one who was the catalyst for the street naming. He was the one who called Mrs. Sullivan, asking permission to start a drive to name a street in her son's name. He had petitions drawn up and got the required signatures. When the street naming ceremony took place, and after all his hard work, he was not allowed to speak, by the people who hijacked the ceremony, because he was a politician. He was disappointed but acted like a gentleman, contrary to what was said by Beverly Baxter.

Simon was given the opportunity to speak after at the Beach Club, where he explained how he came up with the idea, wrote the petition and got necessary signatures. While he was speaking, he was called a liar by Beverly Baxter, who then threw a temper tantrum like a child. I witnessed this. You, Beverly Baxter, are Mrs. Pinocchio because you lie.

What I would also like to know: what this organization has done about the differences we now face in the Beach 116 Street area. If you say this organization cares about Rockaway Park, has anyone spoken up about the Memorial of Death that the Mayor foisted on us when the people in Belle Harbor didn't want it in their area, and taken away from us the opportunity to have a fun beach area? NO. Has anyone in your organization spoken up about the horrible, dangerous parking situation the Chamber of Commerce foisted on us on Beach 116 Street? NO.

Has anyone in your organization spoken up to the parking problems that all these new condos, the Ocean Grande, the one going up on Beach 119 Street, and the one going up on Beach 121 Street will cause? Again, NO.

And where was this organization when the developer and Steve Good presented their plan to develop another condo where the Beach Club is now, at the Land Use Committee? Was anyone there to listen to their plans or speak about the effect this condo would have on the parking problem, and the effect it would have on the people living on Beach 117 Street, which is part of Rockaway Park? No, Lew Simon and I were there.

This organization appears to represent the homeowners only, who want to keep the antiquated summer park rules in Rockaway Park in effect so the apartment and the co-op residents can't park or use their cars on the weekend. Not everybody in Rockaway can afford a private house with a driveway, or choose to. But they also are residents of Rockaway Park. Does your organization support summer resident parking throughout the Rockaway Park area? I don't think so, but it should represent all the residents of Rockaway Park.


No More Waiting For Q-21

Dear Editor,

Oh boy! At long last I won't have to wait an hour or more at Liberty Avenue for the Q-21, for if I miss one I can jump on the Q-53. I used to watch those 53's speeding by (three to every Q-21). They say they're going to start Monday, April 10. They also say, "The Q-21 is going to run every half hour." You miss the 11:09 from Beach 116 Street Saturday morning, and the next one is at 12:21.

A traveler from Broad Channel on the Green Line, that used to bring me to school, PS 44, just over the bridge. Long, long ago...I mean long ago...


The Truth About The Melee

Dear Editor,

As a resident of Hammels Houses, I was appalled at the way the police handled the turn of events on Beach 86 Street on April 12, 2006. And then be just as surprised about how the media can print things they hear because it sounds juicy, instead of questioning people and getting collaboration on the facts. Facts and truths were embellished and covered up.

The Post said nine people were arrested; The Wave said eight. The Wave put people's wrong ages down; The Wave also states it was started by two women, which is a total lie.

I was there. This whole incident started from a couple that was trying to jump Mr. Brooks' cousin. If it weren't for Brooks, the woman would have gotten hit with a chain, but Brooks snatched the chain out of his cousin's hand. That is why he had the chain; he confiscated it from being used as a weapon.

Raymond Brooks was victimized twice that day. He was defending himself from this man and his out of control woman. When the cops arrived, they didn't ask questions; they ran their back over Raymond and then started grabbing on him. When he refused, a lot of cops jumped him before beating him. The couple that started all the mess don't even live down here and took a back seat as they watched everything. I said, "Nobody told no one to call the cops." Everything Mr. Darby said in The Wave is the truth. I was in the store with him as he saw one of the younger Brooks brothers. He went out to warn him; during that time he witnessed the cops pushing on the Brooks' pregnant sister-in-law, and that's when cops jumped him. He didn't swing at the cops or anything. These cops acted too paranoid. They said residents attacked them, which is also a lie. Residents fought back.

When we informed the cops the girl was pregnant, as they can plainly see, their response was, "Why she's acting stupid then?" HELLO. They were beating up her baby's father, and being pregnant is already emotional for a woman.

Brooks has a large family. Each time one got close, just to see what was happening to their brother or cousin, the cops started grabbing and hitting them and arrested them too. One guy got arrested and beat up for nothing. All he was doing was letting them know he was taping it all on his cell phone. I also saw a group of cops continuing to beat on a man's legs with their sticks, AFTER he was already handcuffed.

I am asking all of Hammels to come together, speak out, voice your opinion and the true facts to what you witnessed.

Raymond Brooks was victimized twice in one day. The couple that tried to jump Brooks is still walking around, laughing about. Raymond was defending himself and preventing an escalation of events when cops came and automatically assumed he was the bad guy. If the Brooks family needs witnesses, please help them out. We can't keep letting the NYPD justify their actions and reactions just to make their paperwork look good. As a community that is tired of being harassed by the NYPD, let's work as one.


Meeks Is A Self-Serving Politician

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to The Wave article from April 14, 2006, where Congressman Meeks was screeching against the Republicans regarding fraud concerning Iraq contracts. Of course, these self-serving remarks of Meeks did not take into account his own inconsistencies and conflicts of interest.

Here we have a congressman who is knee-deep in lobbyist handouts. Meeks only serves as a mirror for his own conduct concerning shady affairs, which reflects on his dealings. A week before party leaders proposed to ban privately funded congressional travel, usually supplied by lobbyists in Washington wanting special favors. Representative Meeks boarded a jet in Washington for Jamaica's Montego Bay. The jet's owner, Stanford Financial Group is an operator of offshore banks of Antigua. Meeks sits on a committee overseeing banks and financial services, which said the committee is responsible for overseeing companies such as Stanford Financial, where he drafts laws relating to offshore banks such as Antiguan subsidiary Stanford International Ltd. Conflict of interest? Of course!

Your representative, Gregory Meeks, has taken 37 trips in the last five years, 30 privately funded by lobbyists. Lobbyists who great the palms such as Gregory Meeks, wanting legislation favoring those they represent. Oh yes, seven government-funded trips on your dollar. Where else? Destinations included Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, Venezuela, and Honolulu. Total cost: $150,000. So when these gutter rats called politicians, and I call them gutter rats because they fester on your hard-earned dollar, you the taxpayer. They make me nauseous, the rats you vote for.


Enough Is Enough

Dear Editor,

Housemania is still running strong in our region. After seven or eight years of complaining about the quality, the location and the need of more housing in our region, they are still building houses anywhere, anyhow, with garages below street level in a regionprone to floods, or with no garages or parking space at all in a region where parking, parking, parking is the key word.

According to the Wave, from 1990 to 2000,Rockaway'spopulation has increased by 4,000 new residents, without anew school, store, park or a facility for our seniors added to the community. As a matter of fact, they have been tearing down a few of those we have to make room for more housing. They started with the Levine's Hotel, the closing of the Sunset Diner and there is voice that the Beach Club, oncethe pride ofRockaway, will go the same direction. What will be next?

Once in a while I like to stop at the site of the construction; it is a habit, a passion for real estategoing back over 50 years.It fascinates me how buildings go up to day. No more blocks, bricks sand andcement  (except for foundation); no more plastering (except for a few cases), but an electric screw gun, metal studs, plywood, plaster board, Styrofoam and lot of insulation.I was watching one of the workers fastening a sheet of Styrofoam directlyover the metal studs. To fasten the sheetto 4" metal studs,he was using a regular electric screwdriver. Nothing wrong with that, except that he was using only screws without the plastic "washer" and besides,he was missing the studs two out offive tries. At one point while he wasfastening one side, the other would pop out with the result that he had to run to the first side and put more nails to it. Don' t they know how to use aliner? Don' t they knowthat Styrofoam requires a 2" plasticwasher for a better grip to the studs? If my vision holds up, and I think it does, I saw 2- 4" metal studs, with 3/4" plasterboard at each side,separatingtwo buildings, enough to record a conversation taking place in the other house.As forthe view,the front of the building facesthe 12 floor apartment- houses and the back faces the subway elevator.

As if the above were not bad enough, they are now buildinghousesinbackyards,yes, inplaces where for years, for centuries,we have used for a little garden, a place where, after work, one could find a little relaxation or have a party for the children or friends. It looks like that theupper-power has decided that we need more housing than a garden for a littlerelaxation, or a party for our children or friends, so they have given the OKof building in the backyard. Across the location where this is taking place, they are tearing down a hotel to make room for more housing.

Being the same owner and the same builder, would it be safe to assume that they will build in that backyard also? Or go evenfarther and builtmore housing on the roof, despite the need,not only for a little green, but also for car spaces? Is there such a demandfor housing in our region that they are building houseseven in backyards now? I don't believe it at all. Go round and we will see many "for rent" and "for sale" signseven on buildings that were sold less than a year ago. I wonder the reason, the flood in their basement, for the little rain we had, orthe roof blown off with the little wind of a week ago? No, there is not a scarcity of housing in our region. Look at the Wave; six, seven, eight pages of houses for sale and a couple of pages of apartments for rent. A few weeks ago, one broker, throughout her real estate column, said, "give me a call, I have a ton of listings." Tons of listings? Howmany listings is a ton? How many in ten tons? And she isn't the number one brokereither. Can you image howmany tons of listings anumber one broker in our region has? Many brokers,throughout their regular advertisement,invite owners to list their property with them because they havemany eager, ready, willing and able buyers waiting (on line?).When I drive througha region with too many signs for sale, I get a bad impression, the impression that lots of people want to move out of the region and that is not asign of prestige for the region. As said previously, we are creating a "Coney Island" and I don't mean a Coney Island of 50 years ago, when it was the "Play Ground of The World." Stopthis housemanianow or pay the consequence later.I don't say that we shouldstop peoplecoming to our region. Ohno, we should welcome all of them, but at the same time we should try to keep the region a "Piece of Paradise" as described by AllenMarkof Channel 2 during the airline crash of November 12.After a lengthy and accurate analysis of the housing going on in our region,with an editorial,the Wave (February 17, 2006) concluded: there is no doubt in the minds of experts that the homes there are grossly overvalued and may soon reach that proverbial "bubble" that everybody fears. What can be done? First of all, the transportation system has to be improved to make the peninsula more comfortable for those who work in Manhattan. Several new schools have to be built to satisfy the growing population of school-aged children. Stores and other amenities have to be built and built quickly. Then, somebody has to take a look at the building boom and perhaps say "enough." Amen. 


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