2006-05-26 / Columnists

It's My Turn

By Linda Ruscillo Fact Or Fiction, Part II

In July 2004 my husband and I, joining with many other residents, particularly those living in the buildings on the boardwalk, stood and witnessed the bulldozing of the natural Dunes on Beach 123 and 124 Streets.

Many residents found this action by the Parks Department horrendous. After we investigated the origin of what many of us considered to be lunacy, we learned that the Rockaway Park Homeowners and Residents Association Board voted for this action. They had requested in writing that the Parks Department plow our natural Dunes into oblivion. I am sure many residents will recall Beverly Baxter's vote was the tiebreaker that allowed this done. Beverly had written (in her Wave column) her explanation for her action.

Beverly also included in her column that the R.P.H.R.A. was helpful in closing the apartment building at 123-11 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, a building that was a continuous problem to the community that finally included a "shots fired" call to police.

We live very near this building. After dealing with objects being thrown from windows at our family and others, we entered the building looking for those responsible, but to no avail, although it looked to us like drug deals were going on in the building. My husband contacted Community Board 14 for assistance in solving this horrendous problem.

After he spoke with a member of the Rockaway Park Homeowners and Residents Board one of the board members committed to calling the Community Board as well.

A Task Force was sent to the building, a story that appeared in The Wave on October 22 of 2004.

Shortly afterwards, in the wee hours of the morning, a man approached our residence. He woke our son and demanded that my husband come outside "to talk about the building"

Our protective German Shepherd began to bark at the potential intruder, he ran we called the police. In the morning our cars tires were slashed.

Those incidents and the public pressure put on the owner by us and The Wave eventually led to the building being cleaned out.

In her article in the organization's newsletter, however and in The Wave, Baxter publicly gave credit to the RPHRA.

Obviously I cannot rewrite the Rockaway Park Newsletter in its entity. In my opinion this Newsletter contains quite an amount of fiction.

I know a distinguished older gentleman with an impeccable reputation held by many in the highest regard. This lovely gentleman has professional experience in printing. He made a decision to resign from the R.P.H.R.A. board. After he worked diligently to revamp the Association Newsletter, in order to improve its content and save on the cost of printing.

However, his efforts were not appreciated nor were his questioning the claims of this Association's endeavors and successes.

It seems even board members may not question the President Ed. Re Jr. nor may they insist on their vote being acted upon if Professor Re does not agree.

It is somewhat surprising that a Civic organization such as that one is operated by individuals who were never elected to represent anyone.

I believe many Rockaway Park residents pay their dues and have a sincere concern for Rockaway Park. However they do not often attending meetings and do not realize the facts from fiction.

I imagine things will remain the same unless or until something better is offered to the community, something such as an open vote to elect some real representation for the people who live in Rockaway Park.

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