Women's Industrial League Luncheon Dear Editor,
My aunt, Nellie Hayes, whom I gave the subscription of your paper, is 94 years old and a former Ocean Village tenant. She is grateful to read the news of the Rockaways.
I am happy to have attended the Women's Industrial League's fundraiser scholarship luncheon. I was concerned that Congressman Meeks didn't come or had something in the colorful journal. I was happy to see that many politicians, including the Mayor, Governor, and President Bush had pages in the journal. The students from Far Rockaway High School, Beach Channel High School, and Lawrence High will certainly be our upcoming leaders and see that we will inherit many needs for our community.
Transit Safety In Rockaway
In memory of my dad, Michael Tully, a conductor for 39 years with the NYC Transit Authority IND Division, I am writing this letter.
It was with a sense of outrage that my husband, Jim, and I read the headline article of the Wave, 5/19/06, "West End Teens Mugged On Train At Knifepoint." Jim is a retired signalman of 35 years with the NYC Transit Authority. He made me aware of technology on the new trains that the motorman can be alerted to an emergency by riders. The motorman can then inform police to take action.
On the Rockaway shuttle, there is no conductor and since we have the oldest trains in the city, the technology described above is not available.
For the safety of Rockaway residents on the shuttle, we would advise them to ride in the first car, in close proximity to the motorman's cab, until such technology comes to the Rockaways!
I have contacted the offices of Anthony Weiner, Audrey Pheffer, Malcolm Smith and Joe Addabbo in regards to this horrific incident. I advise my Rockaway neighbors to contact their civic and political associations to write letters and call the NYC Transit Authority and public officials regarding this grave safety matter.
MARY DEVER KELLY
Taken Into Account
At St. Virgilius School
This is in response to a letter published in the Wave on May 19, 2006, from a Mr. Peter J. Purpura regarding the pending diocesan ordered closure of the St. Virgilius Parish School in Broad Channel.
Purpura states, among other things, that the pain of the closure of St. Virgilius must be balanced against the "...financial crisis across the diocese that has to be addressed as priorities are re-evaluated in light of changing demographics, parish reconfiguration and alternative cluster resources, among other factors..." and evidence "... that St. Virgilius School cannot generate sufficient enrollment and the school building is a serious structural problem."
Just to set the record straight, the above considerations were taken into account last year when the parents of St. Virgilius developed a three to five year business plan for the operation of their school that was accepted by the Brooklyn Diocese. The execution of the business plan was taken away from thosewho were the architects of the plan in July of 2005 andhanded over the parish administrator who then appointed his own school advisory board (with no parent representation) and thentook no action whatsoever toward the furtherance of that business plan for seven months! It is not that we were unable to generate sufficient enrollment, rather, we were prevented from increasing our enrollment by the apparently intentional inaction of the parish administrator and his self-appointed advisory board who had been entrusted to execute the school's business plan.
Insofar as Purpura's assertion that the St. Virgilius school building is a "serious structural problem...," I would ask just when did this building develop these serious problems? The school has been standing for some eighty years with students attending classes there every year. Are you saying that the Diocese allowed the building to devolve into such a state without taking any corrective actions thereby placing our children at risk? I would request that you forward any specific information you have in this regard to the attention of ourParents' Association to my attention at firstname.lastname@example.org in order that our attorney may examine such information for liability purposes.
I am also surprised by Purpura's contention that St. Virgilius has the option to "spin off from the diocese, establish lay boards and incorporate as independent teaching institutions solely responsible for their own viability." The diocese is keenly aware of the fact that we agreed to pursue this option with the caveat that a continuance of our school be granted, with no diocesan subsidy, for a finite period of time, while we worked towards such an end. The response from the diocese was simply "close the school this year and pursue your independent school." That would mean, among a myriad of other issues that would have to be addressed, the obtainment of various streams of revenue totaling close to $900,000 in a period of three months just to open in September of 2006.
In offering this option to us, without the required continuance, thediocese was telling us in no uncertain terms, "to dream the impossible dream!" Additionally, Purpura's assertion that the Education Office of the Brooklyn Diocese would assist us in this matter is somewhat suspect as the diocese has provided no assistance whatsoever to our school since the onset of this closure issue back in February of 2005 other than to allow us 30 days to develop and submit a business plan for the school.
Finally, Purpura states "...there should be no finger pointing at the clergy, who while their role should be a more pastoral focus, unfortunately must also be administrative." I would think that in this day and age, it should be clearly obvious to anyone who reads a paper other than "The Tablet" that the notion that the clergy should not be held accountable for their actions is one whose time has long passed.
In closing, I also think it is somewhat disingenuous of Purpura to publish his comments and opinion regarding the closure of the St. Virgilius Parish School by the diocese without acknowledginghis relationship to the Church and the Diocese of Brooklyn.
PETER J. MAHON
ST. VIRGILIUS SCHOOL
Reading your article on the strike at 1 Beach, 106-20 and 107-10 Shorefront Parkway, and viewing the pictures, I see no mention or photo of Lew Simon. Now some people don't like Lew; he's loud, noisy, he interrupts people. Is this any reason not to let everyone know that he was at the rally, supporting the strikers and the tenants who call him with so many problems? Lew gets things done, if he can't give a reason. He doesn't ask for much in return and usually doesn't ask for anything. When covering such an important story, it is only fair to let your readers know all the politicians who showed up, not just the chosen few. Please rectify this.
Thanks For The Help
On behalf of the Rockaway community, I would like to commend Leroy Temple, Steven Ward and the Parks Dept for a tremendous job in getting the beaches in Rockaway clean for the opening of our beach season. I spoke with people who had not been to Rockaway in over 30 years comment on how beautiful and well taken care of the beaches looked this weekend. And they really did.
Additionally, the Parks Dept and the Dept. of Sanitation staff all came out to help during our beach clean up on May 13th. Thank you to the staff and all the residents who participated, for their show of support and hardworking efforts.
I would encourage residents to get out and take advantage of the positive changes happening on the waterfront already this summer. On Beach 14th St and the boardwalk there is the Seaside Flea Market every Sunday, the Piping Plover Bird Sanctuary is from Beach 39th St to Beach 59th St, and of course the beaches all along the peninsula were filled with families having a great time out in the sun. Get out and see for yourself how wonderful Rockaway is.
ROCKAWAY WATERFRONT ALLIANCE
It's A Sad Day,
In More Ways Than One
I've just come from watching the Rockaway Memorial Day Parade on the Boulevard and I must say, the attendance is lacking and respect is sadly missing.
Between Beach 105 and Beach 108 Streets, there were not more than a half dozen people on the street, or even that amount on the terraces of the buildings paying any respect to our country. Granted we may not like the war in Iraq or Afghanistan, but our service men and women, who served in the past and now, deserve more. We do nothing but talk; we don't like illegal aliens, foreigners speaking other languages, bilingual voices on the telephone and outsourcing, but what have you done recently. You can't even take a few minutes to show some respect. I really am ashamed.
Welcomes Another Voice
Although we have never met, I would like to take this opportunity in welcoming Linda Ruscillo (It's My Turn) to The Wave's family of columnists; and yet also express how rather shocked I was that she chose to devote her entire debut columns, in two parts, to lambasting me. If I had political aspirations, were three years old, or were Lew Simon, I might be flattered by Linda's negative comments.
Let me clarify for our readers just how misinformed and ill-advised Linda iswith regard tomy vote on the contentious Dune issue.
First, long before Linda moved to Rockaway, I had written quite extensively, attended conferences of the ACC (American Coastal Commission), and have long advocated for Dune systems to protect our beaches. On this issue, we are on the same "side".
As for the vote cast by the Board of Directors, mine was the tie-breaking vote FOR keeping Dunes on the beaches. These facts are documented. Subsequently, a second vote was cast with regard to one particular Dune that wasabout to form on B. 124 Street; and "we", our side, lost.
Where we differ, dear, is that regardless of the outcome of a particular vote; whether it be on Dunes, Medians, orParking, I respectfullyconcede to the majority of my neighbor's wishes who prevailed on the issue. You, however, don't concede or respect your neighbors who may not agree with or share your point of view. Where I come from, they call this being a "sore loser".
Although we share the same opinion that Dunes protectthe beach, there are just asmany who maynot share ourviews. This is the problem. The issue is contentiously divisive and in my opinion, should not be decided upon by“lay people" who comprise aparticular civic organization. I have long maintained that the recommendation to preserve our beaches be made by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Parks Department, not by a civic association.
As for qualifying my seat on theBoard of Directors, the fact that I have owned property in Rockaway where I have resided for nearly twenty years, would certainly make eligible my electedposition on the board.
I applaud yourpassion and your activism, as well as the activism of all my neighbors. Whether it beLinda Ruscillo, John Lenihan, ProfessorEddie Re; Rick Horan on the issue of Shore Front Pkwy.; Ginger Carson Smith on the issue ofTransportation; Fran Stathis on the issue of the Libraries;Robert Endall on the issue of Lifeguards..., I applaud all of these efforts on all of our behalf and of which we have much tobe proud.
Thanks Secret Friend
On the afternoon of 5/26/06 while doing errands, our car was parked on 116 Street opposite North Fork Bank.
Returning to my car, I noticed a liquid on the ground near back tire (on driver's side). Maybe it came from the car in front of me? Got into the car and noticed a note on windshield.
"Your radiator fluid is leaking. Take care of it" signed a "Friend.
We took care of it. Since we have no name, we take this opportunity to say Thank You.
Thanks For Memorial Day Parade Support
On behalf of the Daniel M. O'Connell Post 272 of the American Legion and Ladies Auxiliary, I would like to thank Grand Marshal Peter Hayden, community religious leaders, marchers, and all those who took the time out to observe Memorial Day. Thanks also go out to the Knights of Columbus for the post parade hospitality and the donation of beverages by Bob Condoleo, Jr. and Pepsi Cola. Finally, a very large shout out of thanks to Steve Good of the Beach Club, who used three weeks of his advertising space in The Wave to promote the parade, and his donation of the hot dogs and fixings used at the post parade party. His unsolicited generosity and spirit were greatly appreciated.
Be Alert In Parking Lots
On April 22, 2006, in the parking lot of Costco in Lawrence at about 10 a.m., a man that looked to be in his early 30's or 40's was trying to get me close to him by telling me "he has a shopping cart for me," smiling the whole time he is saying this. I said nothing but kept walking real fast. I am sure either he was going to rob me, or worse. So please alert all to be careful in parking lots, period. I now walk on the road in and out of the Costco outlet.
JOAN M. MORRIS
Can't Access Subway
At least three years ago, the MTA, with great fanfare, announced that it was going to install an elevator at the Mott Avenue/Far Rockaway subway station. Putting in an elevator at that station would have, at the very least, allowed handicapped access to the Rockaway A Line system.
That installation never took place, however. It was just another empty promise by the MTA to the people of Rockaway.
Now, three years later, there is still only one station on the entire Rockaway peninsula that allows for handicapped access and that is because it is a ground-level station.
Handicapped riders from the eastern end of the peninsula must take a handicapped-access bus to that station, a long ride in order to get on the subway to Manhattan.
That is intolerable. It is also probably a violation of federal law, but the MTA is allowed to get away with it because it is a semi-city agency.
All letters submitted to The Wave, including those sent via e-mail, must contain names, addresses and phone numbers. All letters are subject to editing and publication at the discretion of the editors. The Wave will no longer publish letters in which the name is withheld, unless, in the opinion of the editorial board, there is a compelling public interest to do so.