2006-04-28 / Letters

Letters

Late Fee Without Getting First Summons

Dear Editor,

We received a letter from Environmental Control Board telling us we are delinquent paying a $100 bill for "dirty sidewalks," and a further charge of $300 for the late fee. Since we never received the first summons, I was dumbfounded. What's up with that?

ANITA FANNING

DOE Plan Lacking

Dear Editor,

The DOE's plan to grade schools with letter grades is sadly lacking in that it fails to address the issuesthat are causingthe problems in New York's public schools.

The fact that the“report card"doesn't consider the problematic issues of class size, rate of teacher retention, etc. isa testament to the fact that this initiative is not concerned enough with what causes the problems in ourpublic schools.

It is true that we need todetermine precisely what these problems are, but it is much more important that we understand what is causing these problems so wecan deal with them more effectively.

Simply threatening "leadership changes," "restructuring," and the closing down of poorschools - which in truthis mucheasier said than done inthe bureaucratic world we livein -is not enough to cause change in our schools.If we plan on making our schools more effective places of learning, we must go beyond simply classifying schools as good and bad, and address the issues that are holdingthem down.

ALEX WEISER

No Circulars

In Broad Channel

Dear Editor,

Why doesn't Broad Channel get ads anymore? Usually on a Friday, Key Food, Rite Aid, CVS, Waldbaum's, etc., would have ads in Broad Channel. Now for some reason we don't.

Aren't we on the map? Howard Beach and Rockaway gets them- but not Broad Channel.

MURIEL BERRY

I Remember It When

Dear Editor,

I just saw your article on the State Diner. Boy, do I remember it. Whether teenager or adult, every event either began or ended up at the diner.

I remember when my parents would go to a local "event" and then go out for coffee at the diner. As a matter of fact, I even ended up at the diner on my first date with my future husband, which was the summer of '61.

The diner was open 24 hours a day, 364 days a year. They closed only on Christmas day. Then, as things changed, the hours became more limited.

The photo you have was from the really early days............It was a much more substantial facility as I remember it during the 50's and 60's.

Those of us who knew Far Rockaway as it was in those days have very fond memories of "town", as we referred to it.The stores, restaurants, three movie theaters and bakeries will remain in our memories. It was a happy time to grow up in a part of NYC that was really a small town.

CAROLE COHEN

Yellow Journalism Redux

Dear Editor,

It seems that every time I buy The Wave, I find an article that incenses me with your sloppy, yellow journalism.

The latest was the April 14 "Beachcomber" article (which has no byline, by the way).

No responsible journalist would have written the paragraph about State Senator Ada Smith. Questions concerning what she has done for Broad Channel or whether she has been in our town were apparently not well researched because we who live here know the answers.

I can tell you she attended our Historical Day and provided funding for the Broad Channel Historical Society.

Her representative attends our civic meetings. But the worst aspect of the article was imputing racial prejudice to her.

Don't we have enough heartache and tragedy in this world without your paper printing such incendiary accusations?

BARBARA TOBORG

Don't Put Crime On Page 1

Dear Editor,

Inviting more Armed Forces Recruiting Stations to our area would be a good way to harness all those weapons related skills and pure male energy into our national defense forces. Indeed, these young men are needed now, once again, as much as anytime in U.S. history.

A first step, would also include, giving less importance to gun related violence in area news. Why give any glory to such conduct, unless of course, it is on a battlefield or here at home protecting our neighborhoods and families. Rather, such "news" should be relegated to a Section starting on page 4 or 5 titled - "Crime Watch" or something like that.

Considering the Rockaways are poised to become the "Riviera of NYC" over the next twenty years, the front page reporting of crime really doesn't pay anymore. It is unintentionally misleading too. WE live in paradise being rediscovered and redeveloped. Crime is old news.

Going forward, a "cursory look at the Wave's front-page" should reveal only good news touting accomplishments of our many children, progressive business and civic leaders as well as analyses of "goings on" around our Rockaway towns and beyond.

DAVID LICHENTHAL

We Need A Gun Summit

To The Editor,

Now that Mayor Bloomberg has had his much-ballyhooed "summit meeting" on gun violence with other mayors (mostly fellow Northeasterners, such as Boston's Thomas Menino, who share his Quixotic dream of somehow shaming officials from states with less-restrictive "gun control" regulations into adopting more stringent New York-style gun laws that will mostly leave their law-abiding citizens disarmed and at the mercy of law-ignoring criminals), may I suggest that he follow up this political photo op with several more "summits" that might actually DO something to stem violent crime?

For openers, how about a summit with Queens D.A. Brown and his counterparts from the other four boroughs to demand that these prosecutors make maximum efforts and devote the necessary resources to ensure that people charged with serious, violent crimes actually face serious charges? Too often we read where D.A.s offices, in the interest of clearing a case without having to go to trial (thus efficiently reducing their heavy case backlogs), cut deals with offenders where the top charges are tossed out, the defendant quickly pleads guilty to some lesser charge and gets off with only minimal jail time and/or probation. D.A.s seeking reelection can thus point to impressively high conviction rates - but the gaudy numbers hide the fact that often, violent recidivist offenders draw only token sentences and then are soon out on the streets again to cause more mayhem.

Or, how about a summit with Chief Judge Judith Kaye, who heads the state court system, at which Hizzoner might express dismay with some truly weird recent court rulings that seek to advance suspects' "rights" at the expense of the public's safety? The Wave's "Beachcomber" (March 3)featured one such bizarre ruling by appellate judges who threw out a Brooklyn gun conviction on the grounds that cops responding to a "man with a gun" complaint supposedly had no probable cause to search the suspect and find a loaded pistol on him - even though he fit the tipster's description! The Mayor should ask Judge Kaye to make clear to judges who seemingly can't see the forest for the trees that while protecting the rights of suspects, defendants, prisoners, ex-convicts is a part of a judge's duties - so is protecting the safety of innocent members of the public. A judge who creatively stretches the law beyond all common sense to find arcane grounds on which to overturn the conviction of a clearly dangerous felon may go home that night with a smug sense of satisfaction that he or she has somehow served the interests of "justice" - when that judge has done no such thing and in fact has actually perverted justice by clearing the way for an obviously guilty person to be freed. How much suffering and heartache for innocent victims and their loved ones will this cause in the future? Not for nothing did the Talmud warn that he who shows mercy to the cruel will wind up being cruel to the innocent and the merciful.

What's that you say? Insisting that D.A.'s actually press for more jail time in serious cases and that judges remember their obligations to the public's safety and not be so quick to overturn convictions on dubious grounds will throw more of a burden on an already overtaxed criminal justice/penalsystem? Well, then, how about a mayoral summit with Gov. Pataki and the two men who actually run our state legislature, Sen. Joseph Bruno and Assemb. Sheldon Silver? (Face it, Bruno's Senate Republicans and Silver's Assembly Democrats do little more than rubber-stamp whatever their respective bosses decide upon!) If we need more judges, prosecutors, court and corrections personnel or facilities to ensure that the public is protected, by seeing that people who have done serious crimes (particularly dangerous recidivist criminals)actually go to jail rather than walk, and stay behind bars for longer periods of time - this rather than just looking to quickly clear court dockets with plea bargains and free up jail space with early prisoner releases that sometimes let violent offenders out with the less violent - well than let Pataki, Bruno and Silver get on with it and do what needs to be done. Hopefully, they'll do so without the one-upsmanship and little power games this unholy trio seems to play on any truly important manner.

If the massive, hugely expensive system of state and municipal governmentthat we, the people, pay high taxes in the billions of dollars to support cannot fulfill its primary, bedrock obligation of protecting us from predators (anything and everything else that the state and city governments do for their various constituent groups is simply gravy), then what the hell good is it?

PAUL DECKELMAN

Baxter Needs Aspirin

Dear Editor,

Just the other day, I received a lovely bouquet of flowers from a woman thanking me for my Letter to the Editor regarding Lew Simon. She is a distinguished older woman who is heldby many in the highest regard. Included was a note detailing her horrible experiences with Lew, as well, where he publicly slandered her impeccable reputation because she had failed to give him credit for something of which others were a part. An elderly woman, thehorrific incident nearly put her in the hospital.However, she does have a sense of humor.Also included with the flowers,was a bottle of aspirin for the headache I've had to endure!

 The Letters to the Editor page, for many, has become a spectator sport.The price you pay for admission is the 35 cents to buy the paper.For those of you who are interested enough in this sordid drama, let me bring you up to date.

As a member and directorof the Rockaway Park Homeowners and Residents Association, I was asked to submit to our quarterly membershipnewsletter an articleoutlining the endeavors of the association. Among these efforts was the closure of the porn shop onBeach 116 Street. Whilesomemembers of the Baxter family chose to picket theowner's home, I did not. In fact, I made no such claim. I merely outlined in our newsletterthe association's accomplishments and participation in these events. And because I did not attribute sole credit for this feat to this "lewd" individual,he publicly attacked, slanderedand threatened me. The incidentnecessitated that I, along with my attorney, file a complaint against Simon with the 100 Precinct. 

 Simon has an issue with the association, vis-a-vie me, that is rooted in the fact thatthe association, while it initially sought Simon's help with the closure of the porn shop,quickly tired of his bizarre and abusive behavior toward our invited guest speakers, and he was asked to leaveand to never return. Sound familiar? There is a pattern of improper conduct and behavior that is unfittingof an elected official. Shame on us. We deserve and can do better.

 As for Mr. Feuer's barrage of attacks against the association, I would implore him to become a member and find out what we do before you lay such unfounded attacks. You can hardly disagree with votes cast by your neighbors if youhaven't been avoting member. To attack the association for its vote is to be quite disrespectful toward your neighbors who carried a majority vote on a myriad of issues.However, I suspect your attacks against me and the association isbecause you are most likely Geppetto's puppet and it hardly puts you in very good stead.

 I also take particular exception andfind it personally disturbing that, on Lew Simon's behalf, you would invoke your fictitious presence at an invitation-only post-memorial reception. Your politicization and exploitation describes perfectly why Simon was not permitted to speak. You made my point well, Mr. Feuer. Andit's the height of bad taste. It was only later on thatSimon was giventhe microphone;in the way that one would give apacifier to a child.

It is alarmingly unfortunate thatSimon be allowed to threaten and intimidate decent people. The issue is bigger than Beverly Baxter as I suspectthere have been manyothers who would like tobecome active incivic affairs, yet who are marginalized by their fear of thisdespicable creature.I maintain that Simon is the Pinocchio amongst us andour community deserves better.As for Mr. Feuer and others whom Simon will have write and attack meon his behalf,I will heedthe wisewords of Sir Walter Raleigh, "Never argue with a fool, on-lookers may not know the difference." 

BEVERLY BAXTER

Support Job Youth Program In Far Rockaway

Dear Editor,

Church Community Workers Inc. has been in the Rockaways now for about two years, and we have experienced the good, the bad and the ugly. However, we are a very small organization that has been making a big difference in the Far Rockaway area with youth and families, delivering food, and partnering volunteer jobs for the youth with a pay incentive. We have reached over 10,000 people in the last four years of our existence. We need lots of help in order to continue. We are not funded by anyone except community support. Please help us to help the youth job program continue.

We want to thank Abby Feldman of Seaside Flea Market at the Rock for giving us a booth for our Reach-out Ministry.

MICHEL ANDES

Incarcerated Man

Seeks Friendship

Dear Editor,

Please really read this letter and consider it. I really need your help in this matter. My name is Jeff Jones. I am incarcerated at Lovelock Correctional Center. I have no family, friends, or any funds. I am originally from the New York City area. I really need to make some loving friends in my life to help me continue to grow as a positive person. I have made a lot of strides in my life to change who I was. And it would be great to share it with likeminded people. My family doesn't care about me. I have learned besides family, that friends can be very important in our lives. I hope you can understand how I feel. I would really appreciate it. I am 36 years old, dirty blond hair, blue eyes. I will correspond with anyone: Jeff L. Jones #25525 Lovelock Correctional Center, PO Box 359, Lovelock, Nevada 89419.

JEFF L. JONES

We Need A Gun Summit

To The Editor,

Now that Mayor Bloomberg has had his much-ballyhooed "summit meeting" on gun violence with other mayors (mostly fellow Northeasterners, such as Boston's Thomas Menino, who share his Quixotic dream of somehow shaming officials from states with less-restrictive "gun control" regulations into adopting more stringent New York-style gun laws that will mostly leave their law-abiding citizens disarmed and at the mercy of law-ignoring criminals), may I suggest that he follow up this political photo op with several more "summits" that might actually DO something to stem violent crime?

For openers, how about a summit with Queens D.A. Brown and his counterparts from the other four boroughs to demand that these prosecutors make maximum efforts and devote the necessary resources to ensure that people charged with serious, violent crimes actually face serious charges? Too often we read where D.A.s offices, in the interest of clearing a case without having to go to trial (thus efficiently reducing their heavy case backlogs), cut deals with offenders where the top charges are tossed out, the defendant quickly pleads guilty to some lesser charge and gets off with only minimal jail time and/or probation. D.A.s seeking reelection can thus point to impressively high conviction rates - but the gaudy numbers hide the fact that often, violent recidivist offenders draw only token sentences and then are soon out on the streets again to cause more mayhem.

Or, how about a summit with Chief Judge Judith Kaye, who heads the state court system, at which Hizzoner might express dismay with some truly weird recent court rulings that seek to advance suspects' "rights" at the expense of the public's safety? The Wave's "Beachcomber" (March 3)featured one such bizarre ruling by appellate judges who threw out a Brooklyn gun conviction on the grounds that cops responding to a "man with a gun" complaint supposedly had no probable cause to search the suspect and find a loaded pistol on him - even though he fit the tipster's description! The Mayor should ask Judge Kaye to make clear to judges who seemingly can't see the forest for the trees that while protecting the rights of suspects, defendants, prisoners, ex-convicts is a part of a judge's duties - so is protecting the safety of innocent members of the public. A judge who creatively stretches the law beyond all common sense to find arcane grounds on which to overturn the conviction of a clearly dangerous felon may go home that night with a smug sense of satisfaction that he or she has somehow served the interests of "justice" - when that judge has done no such thing and in fact has actually perverted justice by clearing the way for an obviously guilty person to be freed. How much suffering and heartache for innocent victims and their loved ones will this cause in the future? Not for nothing did the Talmud warn that he who shows mercy to the cruel will wind up being cruel to the innocent and the merciful.

What's that you say? Insisting that D.A.'s actually press for more jail time in serious cases and that judges remember their obligations to the public's safety and not be so quick to overturn convictions on dubious grounds will throw more of a burden on an already overtaxed criminal justice/penalsystem? Well, then, how about a mayoral summit with Gov. Pataki and the two men who actually run our state legislature, Sen. Joseph Bruno and Assemb. Sheldon Silver? (Face it, Bruno's Senate Republicans and Silver's Assembly Democrats do little more than rubber-stamp whatever their respective bosses decide upon!) If we need more judges, prosecutors, court and corrections personnel or facilities to ensure that the public is protected, by seeing that people who have done serious crimes (particularly dangerous recidivist criminals)actually go to jail rather than walk, and stay behind bars for longer periods of time - this rather than just looking to quickly clear court dockets with plea bargains and free up jail space with early prisoner releases that sometimes let violent offenders out with the less violent - well than let Pataki, Bruno and Silver get on with it and do what needs to be done. Hopefully, they'll do so without the one-upsmanship and little power games this unholy trio seems to play on any truly important manner.

If the massive, hugely expensive system of state and municipal governmentthat we, the people, pay high taxes in the billions of dollars to support cannot fulfill its primary, bedrock obligation of protecting us from predators (anything and everything else that the state and city governments do for their various constituent groups is simply gravy), then what the hell good is it?

PAUL DECKELMAN

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